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Lights and alarms are something that many forklift operators may be tempted to forgo, particularly depending on the weather. In the wintertime, when the sunsets earlier and visibility is hindered, there is a high probability that lights and alarms will be used. However, with the arrival of spring many operators may be tempted to forgo lights and alarms. It is also worth noting that the decision concerning whether or not to use lights and alarms is muddied by the fact that regulations are notoriously unclear concerning when to use them. In the hopes of clarifying when it is a good idea to use lights and alarms, this post reviews some essential considerations to bear in mind.
When should you use lights and alarms?
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to lights and alarms is that they should be used when conditions are poor. As such, it may not be necessary to use lights when working outside during the day, as nobody would they would serve little purpose anyway. On the other hand, if you are working in a warehouse or outside after sundown lights perform an extremely valuable function.
Think of lights and alarms as interconnected
The most effective safety approach involves conceiving of lights and alarms as mutually beneficial instruments working together to protect you. Whenever hearing is impaired due to large noise, be sure that you engage your flashing lights. Meanwhile, if visibility is hindered, take full advantage of having your safety alarm. Through using your lights and alarms in such a manner, you ensure that you are safe regardless of the circumstances.
There may be a temptation to use your lights and alarms as crutches that absolve you from standard safety practice. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Using lights and alarms is never a substitute for basic safety procedures such as looking behind while backing up, or using your beeping alarm while moving in reverse. It is also a good idea to wear reflective safety apparel such as vests when operating a forklift in areas where there are pedestrians or people who may not be conditioned to be aware of forklifts. On the auditory end, be sure to incorporate horns and any other safety warning sounds whenever possible.
Each year, nearly 100 workers are killed and roughly 20,000 injured from forklift-related incidents. Using lights and alarms are integral in preventing accidents from taking place. Remember to practice safe, cautious driving and engage as many safety tools as possible to protect yourself and those around you.