More than twenty five percent of forklift accidents involve pedestrian. While OSHA requires safety training, there is a lack of attention to pedestrian safety. The potential hazards and dangers of poor pedestrian safety measures is the source of many of these accidents.
Pedestrians do have the right away, but that does not mean pedestrians are completely protected from any accidents. It may seem similar to interacting with cars, but forklifts can be much more dangerous. Forklifts can weigh as much as 6 cars, yet they are much smaller in size. With tight spaces to maneuver, forklift operators can have a difficult time breaking and seeing what is in front of the load.
There are several ways to create a safer environment for pedestrians:
- Overhead and rear-view mirrors
- Alarms and flashing signals
- Marked walkways for Pedestrians
- Areas restricted to only forklift traffic
- Hand rails to limit access to risk area
- Use of man doors instead of overhead doors
Even with the highest safety measures, accidents can still occur. Another measure to prevent these accidents is being aware. Pedestrians often assume they are protected from danger when the warehouse installs safety equipment and offers safety training. Learning the common misconceptions of pedestrian and forklift interactions can keep everyone aware of their surroundings and help to prevent more incidents.
- Pedestrian and forklift safety are common sense.
- If I can’t see the forklift, I am safe to walk.
- The forklift will be able to break in time, if it is coming near me.
- Forklifts are always maintained properly and run without any surprises.
- The forklift operator can see me, if I can see the forklift.