Particular OSHA requirements have to be met in order to use any type of forklift. A lot of the companies using lift trucks will offer basic training to the other office and sales employees in addition to visitors and other non operators who may venture into the distribution areas. Even if OSHA doesn't specifically deal with forklift pedestrian training, the OSHA General Duty Clause dictates that employers should take measures so as to protect employees from certain risks, like for instance pedestrians exposed to moving lift trucks.
Pedestrian safety is a huge problem which needs to be dealt with and not ignored. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH; around 20 percent of all forklift mishaps include a pedestrian being struck by a forklift. This statistic means about 19,000 people each and every year.
In order to keep everyone safe, there are some basic steps that should be taken into consideration. This is regardless to how frequently or briefly people are around industrial trucks during their work day. Amongst the major considerations is that forklift pedestrian mishaps often occur in situations where the pedestrian is ignorant of safety measures. Issues also occur more frequently when the pedestrian has become used to frequent interaction with forklifts and ends up complacent.
So as to avoid putting yourself at potential risk of being struck by a lift truck, there are several common situations to look out for. Amongst the most common problems is when pedestrians did not see the forklift. Many operations have different degrees of blind corners or intersections that pedestrians must be aware of. At times pedestrians do not hear the lift truck. Be careful of the different types of power sources. Like for example, electric trucks may be a lot quieter as opposed to IC engines that are super loud.
The other major problems are when pedestrians come in too near the machinery. Common sense tells us that in order for a pedestrian to be injured by a lift truck, the pedestrian has to be in close enough proximity to be struck. For a lift truck which is working, a four foot safety zone is recommended in order to make a safe perimeter for everyone. This helps to address risks like the unit accidentally driving over a pedestrian's foot.
To make certain that the workplace safety stays top notch and remains paramount, following and the implementation of strict safety protocol is key.