Pedestrian/ Lift Truck Segregation
24 December 2018
One single incident can easily approach seven figures for any business in regards to a pedestrian and lift truck event. The reality is pedestrians will always lose the battle, considering dynamics of the weight and speed a forklift may travel. Therefore, it is critical that safety leaders, managers, and employees never diminish the significance of pedestrian/lift truck safety.
Consider this: A 5,000-pound forklift moving at 10 mph with a 4,000-pound load has potential destructive force of 135,000 -foot pounds of energy. That is the equivalent impact of a large car at 20 miles an hour.
Here are some practical solutions from a behavioral and physical standpoint that you and your facility may consider implementing.
Behavior Based Safety:
1. Develop a standard behavior program that focuses on interaction with forklifts and pedestrians. Such a program defines the behavior of the lift driver and the pedestrian. Typically a defined distance is established when the pedestrian will have to stop ensuring eye contact or other means of communication have been made with the operator. In return, the lift driver is required to perform specific actions as well. Establishing eye contact, stopping and lowering forks and even removing their hands from the controls of the vehicle until the intent of the pedestrian has been established.
2. Remind and instruct employees of the need to stop and look at intersections. Don't walk through the factory or warehouse reading the clipboard, or an electronic device. Stop in a safe designated place.
1. Develop pedestrian/lift intersections and reroute pedestrian aisles in more protected areas. Shorten the exposure times by minimizing crossings.
2. Identify blind/low visibility corners and utilize mirrors or other mechanical stop and go signals with automated safety systems.
3. Identify your high traffic areas/create areas that are pedestrian free.
4. Clearly develop pedestrian walking paths and crosswalks.
5. Develop physical barriers where pedestrians and forklifts interact.
6. Ensure clear signage is in place such as:
- WARNING LOOK OUT FOR FORKLIFTS
- DANGER FORKLIFT TRAFFIC
- CAUTION WATCHOUT FOR FORKLIFT TRAFFIC
7. Install forklift safety lights.
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