In order to use any type of lift truck, specific OSHA requirements need to be met. Some companies provide basic awareness training to other individuals like visitors and office employees or sales people and other non-operators who might venture into the warehouse or yard. Though OSHA doesn't specifically deal with forklift pedestrian training, the OSHA General Duty Clause dictates that employers must take measures in order to protect employees from some risks, such as pedestrians exposed to lift trucks in motion.
Pedestrian safety is a big concern which has to be dealt with and not overlooked. Based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH; about 20 percent of all forklift mishaps consist of a pedestrian being struck by a forklift. This statistic translates to about 19,000 individuals on a yearly basis.
So as to keep everybody safe, there are some basic steps that should be taken into account. This is regardless to how briefly or frequently individuals are around industrial trucks in their work day. Among the major factors is that lift truck pedestrian accidents often happen in situations where the pedestrian is not aware of safety measures. Problems also happen more frequently when the pedestrian has become used to frequent interaction with forklifts and ends up complacent.
In order to avoid putting yourself at potential risk of being struck by a forklift, there are several common situations to look out for. Among the most common issues is when pedestrians did not see the forklift. Numerous operations have varying degrees of intersections or blind corners which pedestrians must be aware of. Sometimes pedestrians do not hear the forklift. Be careful of the different types of power sources. For example, electric trucks may be a lot quieter than internal combustion engines that are really loud.
The other major problems are when pedestrians come in too near the equipment. Common sense tells us that in order for a pedestrian to be injured by a lift truck, the pedestrian needs to be near to be struck. For a forklift that is working, a four foot safety zone is recommended so as to make a safe perimeter for everyone. This helps to deal with risks such as the unit accidentally driving over the foot of a pedestrian.
Following and implementing strict safety protocol helps to make sure that the workplace safety stays top notch and remains paramount.