Almost everyone working in industry for any length of time has heard of someone who had the misfortune of a forklift running over their foot. When pedestrians and forklifts share the same space, there is an elevated risk of this kind of injury.
Front and Back Lights
At Trenton, we have been aware that pedestrian and forklift interface requires us to be proactive to protect employees. We installed blue lights on the front and back of forklifts. Blue lights put a big blue spot on the floor about 15′ – 20′ in front of and behind the forklifts. When employees see this blue spot, they are instantly aware of an approaching forklift.
Left and Right Lights
We then initiated a trial with a new safety device that acts as a visual reminder to pedestrians of the danger of standing alongside a forklift. Many times during a shift, employees will have the need to communicate with a forklift driver.
Oftentimes, employees get too close to a forklift, placing them in a dangerous position of possibly having their feet in the path of the forklift’s tires. If a forklift driver moves the forklift before an employee has moved both feet away from the forklift, there’s a chance of a serious foot injury.
Our latest proactive effort is to install more lights on forklifts. These mount on the top of the cage and put a long, thin red beam on the floor 3′ out from the forklift’s sides. The position of the light on the floor makes pedestrians aware of the safe distance to keep when alongside a forklift.
Employees have expressed a favorable view of our safety light warning systems. Plans are to proceed to install lights on forklifts that are constantly moving throughout production areas. Continuous training will keep pedestrians and forklift drivers “on their toes” and aware of their personal responsibilities when it comes to mobile equipment safety.