Working Around Forklifts
Forklifts are a large part of any industrial operation. However, forklift safety training concentrates on the operators, with good reason. They are the ones who are maneuvering the heavy and sometimes awkward loads through aisles, around corners and up ramps.
When an accident involving a forklift occurs, injuries are not limited to forklift operators. The majority of injuries or fatalities involving lift trucks happen to co-workers.
The following 7 tips are meant to raise the awareness of pedestrians:
- Always establish eye contact with the forklift driver.
- Keep a safe distance from the lift truck and pay attention.
- NEVER assume the lift truck operator knows that you are there. Make yourself known.
- Watch out for the tail swing when a lift truck turns.
- Stay clear of the fall zone. This is a full circle around the lift truck equal to twice the height of the carried load.
- Check the mirrors that are installed at corners, etc.
- Never walk under the raised forks of a lift truck. Even when empty, the forks could fall without warning.
Remember, it is human nature to become complacent when doing the same thing every day. Don’t become immune to the dangers of working around a lift truck. With all of the noises that can occur during a work shift, back up and warning sounds can blend in with everything else. The key is to be aware of your surroundings.