To be able to operate any kind of lift truck, specific OSHA requirements need to be met. Some businesses offer basic awareness training to other people like visitors and office employees or sales people and other non-operators who might venture into the warehouse or yard. Even if OSHA doesn't particularly address lift truck pedestrian training, the OSHA General Duty Clause dictates that employers need to take measures so as to protect employees from some dangers, like for instance pedestrians exposed to moving lift trucks.
A huge problem that will need to be addressed is pedestrian safety. Based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH; approximately 20 percent of all forklift mishaps include a pedestrian being struck by a forklift. This statistic translates to approximately 19,000 people on an annual basis.
So as to keep everybody safe, there are some basic steps which should be taken into consideration. This is regardless to how frequently or briefly individuals are around industrial trucks in their work day. Among the main considerations is that lift truck pedestrian accidents usually occur in cases where the pedestrian is ignorant of safety precautions. Problems also occur more often when the pedestrian has become used to frequent interaction with forklifts and ends up complacent.
So as to avoid putting yourself at possible 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 different degrees of blind corners or intersections which pedestrians have to be aware of. Sometimes pedestrians do not hear the forklift. Be careful of the different types of power sources. Like for instance, electric trucks can be much quieter compared to IC engines which are super loud.
Coming in too close proximity of the machinery is another common problem for pedestrians. In order for a pedestrian to be injured by a forklift, common sense tells us that the pedestrian needs to be in close proximity to be struck. For a forklift that is working, a four foot safety zone is recommended in order to make a safe perimeter for everybody. This helps to address risks such as the model 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.