When forklifts are being used in your warehouse, safety and education are key. Twenty percent of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian being struck by the forklift. These incidents, however, are not unavoidable. They can be prevented when you and your staff take the time to be prepared.
Be sure your employees know the following forklift safety tips to avoid accidents in your warehouse.
1. Stop and Use Your Horn
You should be stopping your forklift and using your horn at all intersections, corners, and obscured areas to alert any passerby of your presence and avoid a collision.
2. Flash Your Lights
When you put your forklift in reverse, flash your lights to make those around you aware of the change in direction. If you have no lights or backup alarms, verbally warn anyone in the area that you plan to reverse.
3. Use a Spotter
If you have staff available, assign an employee to act as your spotter and help you maneuver through blind spots and difficult areas. This can be a great help when navigating tight spaces.
4. Keep Your View Clear
Drive with your load as low as possible so you can see where you’re driving. Drive slowly to navigate the area safely.
5. Look in Your Intended Direction
You should always look in the direction in which you intend to travel to avoid accidents. When you are reversing your forklift, you should make the effort to look behind you.
Signal or verbally communicate with those around you when you are driving. You are responsible for making sure those around you understand your intentions.
7. Eye Contact
It might not seem obvious, but eye contact is an important part of safety when operating a forklift. Confirm your verbal communication by looking pedestrians in the eye. This acknowledges their presence so they know you see them.
8. Clean Your Path
It is recommended that you walk your intended path on foot before operating a forklift. Any trash or clutter is a hazard and could result in pedestrians tripping or slipping. You also want to avoid running over such items with your forklift.
9. Don’t Carry People
Lifting employees on your forklift is extremely dangerous, even with lifting cages. You should consider using an aerial lift, as it is the safest option.
10. Monitor the Area
Never allow anyone to stand or walk under your load. Falling loads are something that should be prevented at all costs.
When operating a forklift, consider all possible hazards and plan ahead. Be sure that you and your employees understand and know forklift safety to cut down on the risk of having an accident.
PFlow Industries understands the importance of warehouse safety and can help you and your team understand and operate machinery in the safest and most effective way. For safety and product information for PFlow’s many material handling solutions, visit our Product Manuals page.