Creating a Safe Operation of Forklifts

by Jeanna Courter on August 3, 2015

ForkliftWritten by: Gabe Viamonte, Distribution Coordinator at PBD Worldwide

When working in a warehouse, it can be easy to become immune to the dangers of working around a forklift. With all the noise that can occur during a work shift, back and warning sounds can blend in with everything else going on around you. The key is to be aware of your surroundings. We've put together some responsibilites for both forklift drivers and pedestrians in order to ensure a safe envirnoment.

Forklift Driver/Operator Responsibilities

1. Only qualified drivers should operate forklifts. This should be determined by management and be based upon experience and training.

2. Horseplay is prohibited.

3. All accidents should be reported immediately.

4. No riders are allowed on the forklift.

5. Driver should keep to the right on wide aisles.

6. Drive at a reasonable speed depending on location and condition of surface.

7. Slow down at intersections, corners, ramps and other danger points.

8. Leave plenty of space between forklifts when moving.

9. Use your horn in blind spots, but don't overdo it.

10. Do not cut turns too short.

11. Be alert for wet and slippery surfaces while driving.

12. Give pedestrians the right of way. Assume they are not aware of forklift traffic.

13. When parking, do not block traffic.

14. Park with the forks lowered to the floor.

Pedestrian Responsibilities

1. Establish eye contact with the forklift driver.

2. Keep a safe distance from the lift truck and pay attention.

3. NEVER assume the forklift operator knows you are there. Make yourself known.

4. Watch out for the tail swing when a lift truck turns.

5. Stay clear of the fall zone. This is a full circle around the lift truck equal to twice the height of the carried load.

6. Check the mirrors that are installed at the corners, etc. (if available). If there are no mirrors, talk to your supervisor.

7. Never walk under the raised forks of a lift truck. Even when empty, the forks could fall without warning.

There is one last thing you should remember. If you do get into an altercation with a lift truck, the lift truck will most likely win. 

Topics: PBD Worldwide, Fulfillment Services, Fulfillment Center, Warehouse, order fulfillment, forklift, warehouse safety