One of the top critical safety jobs of every warehouse forklift operator is to ensure pedestrian traffic safety.
Forklifts are heavy and dangerous powered vehicles. Collision damage from a forklift truck can be 3 to 4 times greater than that of a car due to the weight of the forklift at around 9,000 lbs.
According to OSHA, it’s every company’s responsibility to make sure its forklift operators are properly trained and certified before they get to run a forklift. It’s also the company’s duty to evaluate forklift operators at least once every 3 years and enforce refresher training. This responsibility usually falls to the acting safety or warehouse manager.
As a warehouse safety manager, how can you increase pedestrian safety in your facility?
But in order to maximize pedestrian safety, it’s important to offer basic awareness training to non-operators who would be on the warehouse floor as well. Visitors, stockers, pickers, sales personnel, and even office staff who may need to run a message directly to a worker all need to be educated on how to keep themselves safe.
Along with basic education, all visitors/workers should encounter obvious signals and warnings whenever they are sharing a space with forklifts – such as signage, floor tape marking off forklift zones, guardrail, and other safety barriers.
Access should also be controlled to limit unaccompanied visitors such as truck drivers entering your dock area to gain a signature or an unauthorized visitor who may wander in looking for someone to talk to.
Tips to improve pedestrian safety zones with collision protection equipment.
There is a wide variety of safety equipment you can install in your facility to keep your visitors and workers safe from the risk of accidental forklift collision.
- Driver and Building Access Cages -Keep your warehouse and dock area safe and secure. Restrict access to truck drivers, delivery people and other unauthorized personnel from entering and wandering through your facility.
- Guardrail Systems – Create strong barriers for pedestrian walkways, around machinery, as well as storage equipment. Able to withstand 10,000 lbs of impact.
- Bollards – Absorbs impact to protect pedestrians, the operator, machinery, and building frames from accidental collision.
- Post Protectors – Guard pallet rack systems from forklift impact, greatly reducing the risk of system collapse and danger to pedestrians.
- Safety Gates – Provides extra precaution by closing off areas to reduce forklift traffic flow.
- Safety Lights and Mirrors – Provides proper lighting and visual cues for forklift operators to help prevent accidents in common traffic areas.
- Collision Awareness Sensors – Operators receive clear sensor signals to indicate “stop” and “go” at dock doors and blind intersections.
What type of warehouse safety precautions are you taking in your facility? Are you dealing with a warehouse challenge? We’ll help with your most pressing warehouse-related challenges quickly.