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Some of the most common workplace accidents involve forklifts. Because they are so heavy and constantly on the move, forklifts are inherently dangerous.
Yet forklifts also are essential to efficiently move products, parts, and supplies in most workplaces. So how can your business continue to benefit from forklifts while reducing the risk of workplace accidents?
Here are three ideas you can implement immediately.
Get Rid of Clutter
Essentially every forklift accident involves line of sight issues. No forklift operator would purposely collide with a pedestrian, another vehicle, or property if they saw it ahead of time.
So removing anything unessential from the line of sight of forklift operators can improve workplace safety by reducing the risk of accidents caused by operators not being able to see where they are going.
Obviously, you can’t remove things like walls, columns, or even racking. But if you walk through your business it’s usually possible to identify non-critical items that can be moved or eliminated.
Designate Forklift Lanes
Typically, forklifts follow the same traffic patterns day in and day out. So if you designate these as exclusive forklift lanes and install barriers or boundaries to keep people out, you can minimize the risk of an accident while maximizing workplace safety.
Barriers can be permanently placed into the ground to mark “no-go” zones for pedestrians or forklifts. Or you can use signs to alert people to where they can and can’t go.
Another option is to use paint to clearly mark these driving lanes on the ground so that pedestrians and forklift operators alike know where to go to help prevent collisions and other forklift accidents.
Pedestrian Warning Systems
A third way to reduce forklift accidents is to utilize pedestrian warning systems. Today, there are many high-tech systems that you can add to your forklift that can identify when a pedestrian is nearby and trigger an alarm such as a siren or flashing lights.
There also are warning systems that are constantly on whenever the forklift is in motion, including spotlights, sirens, and back-up alarms.
A more low-tech option is simply to train your forklift operators to use their forklift horns whenever they are approaching an intersection, a corner, or anyplace else that a pedestrian could potentially be walking.
Forklift safety doesn’t have to be complicated. By clearing out clutter, designating forklift lanes and pedestrian lanes, and utilizing pedestrian warning systems, you can improve the safety of your workplace and significantly reduce the risk of a forklift accident.