Safety tips and best practices that will help workers recognize the hazards that may exist when forklifts are used in the same work environment that has foot traffic, and what forklift operators and pedestrians can both do to ensure the safety of all personnel.
Powered industrial trucks, also called forklifts or lift trucks, are used in many industries, to aid workers in material handling. Forklifts, if not operated safely, can cause injuries to workers.
Forklifts, their operators and pedestrians are often in the same work environment, which could be a warehouse, manufacturing facility, distribution center, storage building, industrial plant or other similar workplace that requires the power of forklifts. Every precaution must be taken to prevent injury to all personnel who may be walking in the same area as the forklift.
Only trained and authorized personnel are allowed to operate forklifts.
Trainees may only operate a forklift when the training is conducted in an area that does not have the potential to endanger other employees.
OSHA Standard 1910.178(l)(3)(ii)(D) Powered industrial truck operators shall receive initial training in pedestrian traffic in areas where the vehicle will be operated.
To ensure precautions are taken to protect all personnel, including pedestrians, the forklift operator should walk the planned route first to spot any concerns that could become a hazard while they are driving the forklift.
If the forklift operator notices pedestrians along the route, verbally warn them that a forklift will be in the area and ask them to move out of the vicinity.
When there will not be enough safe clearance to operate the forklift while personnel are in a work area, it is imperative to give notice to the pedestrians.
Pedestrians not authorized to be in areas where forklifts are being used should remain away from these locations for their safety.
When operating a forklift in an area where pedestrians might be present, forklift operators have the responsibility to:
OSHA Standard 1910.178(n)(4) The driver shall be required to slow down and sound the horn at cross aisles and other locations where vision is obstructed. If the load being carried obstructs forward view, the driver shall be required to travel with the load trailing.
As forklift operators have specific safety guidelines they must follow when driving a forklift, pedestrians also play a vital role in their own safety.
When walking or working in an area where forklifts may be operating, pedestrians have the responsibility to:
Pedestrians should avoid walking or working in-between or behind stacked materials that may potentially block the view of the forklift operator. If the forklift attempts to move the materials that are nearby this could result in a serious crushed-by or caught-in incident.
Workers must never stand on or under the forks of the lift, whether loaded or empty.
Forklift operators must never drive a forklift up to a person standing in front of a bench or fixed object such as a shelving unit, railing, or gate.
Unauthorized personnel shall not be permitted to ride on forklifts.
The forklift driver is required to slow down for wet and slippery floors.
OSHA Standard 1910.178(m)(1)Trucks shall not be driven up to anyone standing in front of a bench or other fixed object.
Stunt driving and horseplay are not permitted.
Avoid running over loose objects in the path of the forklift.
Only stable or safely arranged loads within the rated capacity of the forklift shall be handled.
Weeklysafety.com is giving away 10 free safety topics, no credit card required! Take advantage and grab your free set of safety meeting topics today by clicking the button below.
A membership to Weeklysafety.com comes at a very low price that never goes up no matter how many employees you have and no matter how many awesome safety topics you use. Included in your membership are hundreds of safety topics that you can use for your safety meetings, toolbox talks and safety moments.
Take a look at our website to learn more about everything that comes with a Weeklysafety.com membership. Click below to learn more today!
Download this free report today and get inspired to improve your workplace safety program!