Safe Work Practices for Pedestrians Around Forklifts

Yesterday, we discussed some of the hazards that are created when pedestrians work in close proximity to forklifts. Today, we’ll look at some work practices that pedestrians can use to stay safe when they’re crossing paths with powered industrial trucks.

Pedestrians can protect themselves when they are working near forklifts by using their senses—and their common sense!

Where’s the Forklift?

Pedestrians must learn to listen and look for warning signs that indicate a forklift is nearby so they can take steps to avoid the forklift. They should:

  • Listen for the sound of forklift horns. Forklift operators should sound the horn when approaching intersections, corners, blind spots, other forklifts, and areas with pedestrians.
  • Listen for the sound of backup alarms. Most forklifts have a backup alarm that sounds whenever the forklift is moving in reverse.
  • Listen for the sounds of the forklift engine. The engines of combustion forklifts will be louder when the forklift is traveling or when the forklift is raising a load. However, because electric forklifts are usually very quiet, listening for engine noise from them will not help.
  • Look for flashing lights. Forklifts are required to have flashing, rotating lights that operate continuously.

Does your organization use forklifts on the job? If so, having an effective forklift safety program is critical for protecting employees, assuring compliance, and minimizing damage to product and business assets. Click here to register for this webcast and learn more on forklift safety now!

Walking Safely near Forklifts

In order to maintain an awareness of where forklifts are, workers should:

  • Avoid distractions when walking out where there is forklift traffic, including reading paperwork or talking with other pedestrians.
  • Stop and look both ways before entering a forklift lane, crossing an aisle, walking up to a blind corner, or walking across an intersection where forklifts travel.
  • Walk single file along the side of an aisle that has forklift traffic, or keep to designated walking aisles.

Do you have an effective forklift safety program? Join us on October 9 for our upcoming webinar when our presenter will provide a clear understanding of what should be included in an effective and comprehensive program to assure employee safety and much more! Click here to register now!

Approaching a Forklift Driver

If a pedestrian needs to approach a forklift driver to discuss something, he or she should:

  • Stay back from the forklift until the driver sees him or her.
  • Wait for the driver to stop the forklift.
  • Approach the forklift after the driver motions him or her over.

When approaching the forklift, workers should be careful to:

  • Keep their feet away from the forklift.
  • Walk away before the driver moves the forklift, rather than standing next to the forklift and waiting for the driver to pull away.