Forklift Pedestrian Safety

Over 60,000 forklift accidents occur in the United States every year. According to OSHA, pedestrians are involved in about 20% of these accidents.
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There are several reasons why forklift operators should be aware of pedestrian traffic - most importantly to prevent accidents, but also to avoid citations. OSHA fines businesses that ignore forklift pedestrian safety protocols, and this can result in thousands of dollars in citations.
Here are some ideas to consider to potentially make your workplace safer.

Pedestrian Training

Although OSHA requires formal forklift training for operators, it does not address specific training for employees who work around forklifts. Pedestrian awareness training is simple and effective, and it helps remind pedestrians to stop, listen, and look carefully when walking near forklifts. Focusing on proper pedestrian and operator training can save your organization the cost of accidents and the potential loss of life. 
OSHA requires that permanent aisles and passageways be free from obstructions and appropriately marked where mechanical handling equipment is used. [29 CFR 1910.176(a)].  Often, safety professionals recommend the creation of separate pedestrian routes that are easily noticeable through painted lines, signage, and floor decals. Visibly marking these routes increases your operator’s awareness of pedestrians and ultimately leads to fewer accidents.

Regular inspections and forklift maintenance

Proper forklift maintenance is key to not only avoiding costly repairs, but also keeping your forklifts running in proper condition to prevent avoidable accidents. For example, hydraulic leaks can create slippery floors that pose a risk to both operators and pedestrians. This risk can be minimized by ensuring your daily forklift inspections are happening.
When it comes to making your workplace safer for operators and pedestrians, the most important thing is to build a culture centered around communication and awareness. Training both operators and pedestrians on forklift safety, reinforcing that training with visible reminders, and keeping your equipment safe are three crucial steps in preventing forklift accidents. To learn more about how SG World USA’s solutions can help you increase awareness of forklift safety, contact us or book a meeting!