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Forklift horns are among the most essential pieces of safety equipment on the vehicle. So if your forklift horn is worn, broken, or was never there to begin with, it can create an unnecessary hazard in your workplace. It could even get your business in trouble.
Horns are standard equipment on modern forklifts. In fact, they are now required by law in most jurisdictions. But that hasn’t always been the case.
Because forklifts are so durable, there are still some ancient vehicles on the job that were built before horns were required. And while there is an argument to be made that horn-less forklifts that were built in the 1960s or ’70s aren’t covered by current requirements, there’s a
And while there is an argument to be made that horn-less forklifts that were built in the 1960s or ’70s aren’t covered by current requirements, there is a counter-argument to be made — by an attorney representing somebody injured by the same vehicle, in all likelihood — that the vehicle’s owner was negligent in its failure to install a horn even if the vehicle never had one.
Replacing Forklift Horns
To play it safe, any forklift being used in 2017 should have a horn, regardless of when it was built. Horns are one of the most effective tools operators have to warn pedestrians that they are nearby, especially when they are turning blind corners, approaching intersections, or backing up.
Yet horns are mechanical and electrical devices that are prone to break down with normal wear and tear. The life expectancy of a forklift horn will depend on how often it was used, when it was installed, and how high its original quality was.
The important thing is that broken forklift horns need to be replaced before the vehicle is placed back in service. Failure to do so can leave your business open to unnecessary liability in the event that an accident does occur.
Loud and Clear
Forklift horns also need to be tested regularly, and not just by the operator. Supervisors and managers need to make sure horns are working properly according to a regular schedule, just in case operators failed to report a non-working forklift horn. Horns also should be tested for clarity and volume.
Horns also should be tested for clarity and volume. An accident in which the victim claims they couldn’t hear the horn’s warning could result in the fault being assigned to the business that owns the vehicle.