Each year in the United States, there are more than 95,000 forklift accidents.
That's a shocking statistic. With more than 1 million forklift trucks operating in the U.S. that is almost one injury for every 10 trucks.
Here are 10 safety tips (from the poster) to follow when working with or near forklifts: 5 for pedestrians and 5 for forklift operators.
Five forklift safety tips for warehouse pedestrians
Use dedicated pedestrian walkways: Pedestrian walkways are similar to sidewalks and crosswalks found on our streets and roads.
Stop, look and listen for oncoming traffic: Forklift operators are trained to honk the lift truck’s horn when crossing an intersection, when going around corners, and whenever their vision might be obstructed. Be aware of these sounds.
Make eye contact with drivers: Just like everyday vehicle, forklifts have blind spots. When you make eye contact with drivers, this ensures that the operator is aware of your presence.
Know that a truck needs adequate time to stop: Forklifts are very heavy pieces of equipment that are designed to carry heavy loads. Likewise, lift trucks are not designed to stop suddenly. Rather, they are designed to minimize the damage to the load and to maintain stability.
Stand clear of lift trucks in operation: One of the forklift operator’s jobs is to keep the product from being damaged. Therefore, the operator might be focused on the pallet load and not aware of a person standing around the lift truck.
Five forklift safety tips for forklift operators working around pedestrians
It is important that forklift drivers are also aware of pedestrians in the warehouse. Following are the top five safety tips for lift truck operators to follow:
Give pedestrians the right-of-way: Always stop when pedestrians walk across your planned route. Wait until the person or people have passed by and continue cautiously through any congested area.
Never drive close to anyone: If there is not enough space to travel, warn pedestrians and ask them to move.
Look in the direction of travel: If there is not a clear view, do not move the lift truck.
Stop and sound the horn when approaching an intersection, crosswalk or exiting an aisle: Warn pedestrians and other forklift operators that a forklift is coming.
Approach and leave aisles slowly: Drive cautiously and use alarms when entering and exiting warehouse aisles.
If you would like to learn how SHEBS can help your company create a safer work environment, schedule a free consultation with one of our safety experts today.