How to Improve Pedestrian Safety Around Forklifts

Unfortunately, pedestrian safety is a hot topic of discussion in the material handling world. In many cases across America, workers fall under the prey of otherwise avoidable calamities due to pedestrian incidents involving forklifts. Whether it be a lack of awareness, bad design planning, or the wrong equipment, there are many contributing factors that curate the possibility for these situations to manifest. The good news is there are steps you can take today to limit future incidents and intervene in the event of an accident. Here are three proven ways to improve pedestrian safety around forklifts. Taking these steps will cause your enterprise to see noticeable strides in safety, efficiency, and productivity whilst slashing liabilities and costs. Here is the scoop:

1) Increase Awareness– A popular misnomer is that the forklift driver will see any pedestrian on the work floor regardless of circumstance. This fallacy is the cause of many avoidable workplace accidents, incidents, injuries, and in some cases deaths. It is absolutely essential if you are a pedestrian looking to walk in the proximity of a forklift in operation that you establish eye contact with the driver. If the driver does so and then signals you to continue forward, it should be safe to do so. However, anything less than taking these steps could be extremely perilous. According to Forklift Certification, following safety protocols in loading and unloading stages is essential to prevent these scenarios. Increasing employee awareness of existing material handling operations is a great way to safeguard and prevent the unfortunate.

2) Conducive Design Planning – Another practice championed and frequented by many is the idea of simply keeping pedestrians away from traffic through facility design. In older warehouses this may be a bit more difficult to achieve given initial setup, but the modern factory can be architected for this purpose. Loading bays and shipping docks are completely separated from high-traffic areas where many employees find themselves engaging in day-to-day initiatives. The design strategy has been proven to yield a wide host of benefits and has seen a substantial reduction in accidents and incidents. If your current facility is not designed in such a way, there are still many steps you can take to align with this format. Assembling partitions, roping off footpaths, and revamping protocols can create an overall conducive workflow.

3) Good Equipment – Modernized equipment has the capabilities to further quell the variables and contributors to these events. The forklift of today features LED lighting which is more visible to the eye. Furthermore, these machines feature more robust indicators, alarms, and even back-up cameras to aid drivers in getting a landscape view of their blind spots. Whilst these innovations are a great complement to a safety-conscious environment it is still nonetheless imperative that all staff and personnel do their part to foster a secure workplace. Training operators on these technologies is also another rudimentary phase of implementing these appliances into your material handling application or supply chain.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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