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Why Do You Need to Plan for Forklift Pedestrian Safety?

forklift pedestrian safety includes warehouse workers
Your business needs to plan for forklift pedestrian safety if it employs forklift operators. Pedestrians can be in close proximity to forklifts. If your forklift operators fail to account for pedestrians, they risk exposing them to hazards that can lead to accidents. Worst of all, a forklift accident can cause a pedestrian injury or fatality.

Enrolling your workers in forklift certification training offers an excellent starting point to improve pedestrian safety. The training enables workers to learn how to properly use and maintain a forklift. It also teaches workers how to keep themselves and pedestrians safe against workplace dangers.

Why Is Forklift Pedestrian Safety Important?

Forklifts are essential tools regularly used in warehouses, dockyards, construction sites, and distribution centers throughout the country. Forklifts don’t, however, come without their share of dangers. When in the hands of inexperienced or poorly trained drivers, they can endanger pedestrian workers and onlookers by putting them at risk of serious bodily injuries unless safety protocols are strictly followed and properly executed.

Businesses that ignore pedestrian safety protocols can receive OSHA penalties, too. OSHA protects forklift operators and pedestrians. It offers forklift safety guidelines that apply to all employers across the United States. Failure to comply with these guidelines can cost a business thousands of dollars. If a business does not comply with OSHA safety guidelines and a pedestrian accident occurs, the company could face legal ramifications as well.

Take time to educate your forklift operators about pedestrian safety. This ensures these operators can come forward with any pedestrian safety concerns and questions. Your forklift operators can also gain the insights they need to consistently identify and address forklift pedestrian safety dangers

Common Forklift Pedestrian Safety Dangers

When there are multiple workers and pieces of heavy equipment moving about the workplace, forklift traffic and pedestrian safety are issues that go hand in hand. That’s why it’s necessary for both employers and their workers to learn about forklift pedestrian safety and what can be done to avoid hazards that put both pedestrians as well as operators at risk.

An excellent first step is establishing and delineating clearly visible pedestrian walkways throughout the jobsite, which is just one of the ways to accomplish this important safety issue. These walkways ensure pedestrians always have a safe place where they go to get from point A to point B. Forklift operators can stay away from these walkways, reducing the risk of a pedestrian forklift accident.

Since forklift pedestrian safety is one of the most important aspects of a well-run warehouse, shipyard terminal, or other workplaces where forklifts are commonly used, arranging forklift and pedestrian safety training as required by OSHA for all of your employees is extremely important. By completing an OSHA-approved training program, forklift operators will be well-equipped to guard against forklift pedestrian safety dangers now and in the future.

ForkliftCertification.com, a recognized leader in online forklift certification and training since 2002, has three different courses to ensure your company’s pedestrian safety plan is OSHA compliant. Our forklift and pedestrian safety education program can help your operators recognize the unique hazards associated with foot traffic in industrial workplaces. Once your employees have completed one of FLC’s training courses, they’ll have the necessary skills and knowledge to avoid accidents and promote a safer, more productive working environment!

Who Has the Right of Way on a Forklift?

Who has the right of way: a forklift operator or a pedestrian? The answer: pedestrians always have the right of way.

Forklift operators must account for pedestrians at all times. Otherwise, if a forklift operator gets distracted or ignores a pedestrian, this error could lead to a pedestrian forklift accident or injury.

If a forklift operator sees a pedestrian, it is important to slow down immediately. Also, the operator can honk the lift’s horn or activate its warning lights as needed; these indicators can alert a pedestrian that a forklift is approaching.

Along with knowing what to do in work areas where pedestrians are present, a forklift operator must know how to navigate intersections, blind spots, and doorways. If an operator travels cautiously, he or she can alert pedestrians before a pedestrian forklift accident or injury occurs.

A forklift certification training program emphasizes pedestrian safety. In doing so, the program prepares forklift operators for real world situations in which they are forced to deal with pedestrians at work. The program ensures forklift operators know what to do in these scenarios to eliminate risk for themselves and others.

Forklift Pedestrian Safety Basics You Need to Know About

Among the most important aspects of forklift safety in the workplace are navigating traffic, managing pedestrian walkways and making it perfectly clear to all concerned that pedestrians have the right of way every time. Forklift safety measures are divided into two categories:

1. Regular Forklift Traffic

Systems and standards establish how forklift traffic is routed through dockyards, warehouses, distribution centers, and similar workplaces.

2. Pedestrian Traffic

This Involves the routing of people on foot who need to occasionally enter a primarily industrial environment, which is where OSHA’s forklift pedestrian safety regulations and FLC’s training programs come into play.

Fatalities and injuries can happen with both types of traffic, which is especially true if rules and guidelines aren’t in place and strictly enforced. This is especially true when there’s a question as to who has the right of way – forklift or pedestrian? OSHA forklift and pedestrian safety requirements, which are described in more detail below, exist for both operators and pedestrians.

safety tips for forklifts and pedestrians in warehouses
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Why Are Pedestrians Present at Work?

When it comes to forklift pedestrian safety, all visitors should be accounted for immediately upon arrival. Pedestrian visitors might include office staff and other employees of a business, salespeople, and others who may come into a warehouse or storage yard on either an occasional or a day-to-day basis. Although nothing requires the visitors to be trained to work around forklifts and other heavy equipment, they should be familiar with forklift and pedestrian safety rules to help protect them from being injured.

Most forklifts have limited visibility, especially since there can be blind spots and corners in a warehouse or construction yard. Adding to the danger, most pedestrians don’t realize that it’s not always possible to hear nearby forklifts or be able to tell where they are. This is especially true for quiet, battery-powered forklifts, so it’s up to the forklift driver and safety supervisors to clearly mark OSHA pedestrian walkways and other areas that are acceptable to navigate. On the part of pedestrians, it’s necessary that they stay within the designated walkways.

Forklift and pedestrian safety education is essential for teaching both equipment operators and visiting pedestrians on how to safely work around each other to avoid accidents and prevent injuries.

Is It Possible to Keep Pedestrians Away from a Worksite?

Your company can use fences and other temporary barriers to prevent pedestrians from entering a worksite. Also, you can use signage to warn pedestrians that forklifts are present.

Despite your best efforts, there is no guarantee that you can keep pedestrians away from every worksite, every time. But, thanks to forklift certification training, forklift operators will know exactly what to do to guard against pedestrian accidents.

Is OSHA Forklift Pedestrian Safety Training Necessary?

According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, approximately 20% of all forklift accidents in the workplace involve someone on foot being hit by a forklift. Forklift and pedestrian safety is definitely not something that can be overlooked. The most common reasons for accidents involving pedestrians being struck by forklifts are due to carelessness and a lack of training on the part of one or both parties. With FLC’s OSHA-compliant training packages, your employees will have the safety knowledge and skills needed to avoid accidents and injuries.

Forklift safety training teaches workers how to act when in a workplace where forklifts are operating. It also teaches them why they need to be aware of and on alert for pedestrians when they operate a forklift. In addition, forklift operators need to know how to make pedestrians aware of their presence while working, as well as who has the right of way.

Does OSHA Have Forklift Pedestrian Safety Standards in Place?

OSHA guideline  29 CFR 1910.176 (a) requires pedestrian pathways and other walking areas to be clearly marked and free from obstructions at all times, which is particularly important in those areas near regular forklift activity.

OSHA’s powered industrial truck safety guidelines for pedestrian safety around forklifts include some common sense thinking. Basic forklift pedestrian safety suggestions and a few advanced concepts are also involved. Some of the OSHA safety standards for forklift operators include:

Drivers always yielding the right of way to pedestrians

 Using the horn and safety signals when approaching blind intersections

 Stopping and waiting for pedestrians who are crossing the operator’s planned route

 Being on alert for situations that require a spotter and using a spotter whenever necessary

Warning pedestrians and asking them to move whenever there’s some question as to what is a safe distance

Proceeding cautiously and slowly through areas with a high pedestrian traffic volume

Prohibit anyone from standing or walking near an elevated load

Ensure all workers receive forklift and pedestrian safety training enabling them to easily recognize hazards

Slow down, stop and sound the horn when at intersections, blind corners, entering or exiting buildings and whenever the operator’s field of view is obstructed

Using warning lights and backup alarms when the lift is traveling in reverse

Not moving the forklift until there’s a clear view

Using a spotter at blind intersections

Always looking in the direction of travel

Signaling pedestrians to stand clear

Making direct eye contact with pedestrian traffic

Never be distracted by using a cell phone or reading when operating a forklift

It’s important to have each of your operators trained to be familiar with the latest OSHA pedestrian safety guidelines, which is where FLC can help. We can have your forklift operators trained and OSHA-compliant in about an hour. Our training even lets these operators immediately download and print their certification cards after they complete the required coursework.

Safety Protocols for Pedestrians in the Workplace Include:

If you employ forklift operators, there are several protocols your workers need to follow when dealing with pedestrians. These protocols include:

Understanding that forklifts can’t stop suddenly

Staying well clear of forklifts in operation

Being aware that forklifts have wide rear swing radiuses

Always using designated pedestrian walkways

Never being onboard a forklift unless it’s designed to carry riders

Never walking or standing beneath an elevated load

Becoming familiar with all OSHA pedestrian safety standards

Forklift safety training is crucial. With this training, your forklift operators can learn how to keep themselves and others safe at any worksite, at any time.

Choose FLC for OSHA-Compliant Pedestrian Forklift Safety Training

Get your operators up to speed on forklift pedestrian safety regulations with our OSHA-compliant forklift training courses. Designed by our knowledgeable team of OSHA experts, each of FLC’s training modules gives students a thorough review of all facets of safely operating powered industrial truck operation, including forklift pedestrian safety considerations.

In addition to pedestrian safety considerations, your forklift operators will learn how to:

Safely operate a forklift

Perform daily equipment inspections and routine maintenance

Maneuver ramps, slopes, blind spots and corners

Navigate various work environments, including narrow aisles and workplaces busy with pedestrians traffic

Recognize and avoid potential hazards

Prevent workplace accidents

We offer three training programs designed specifically to comply with OSHA’s training requirements, which are our Train The TrainerTraining Kit and our popular Bundle Package. FLC has the needed forklift and pedestrian safety training you need that meet or exceed OSHA’s forklift and pedestrian safety requirements.

If you still have questions about forklift traffic safety or OSHA-compliant forklift training, call us at (888) 278-8896Enroll your operators today for a safer workplace – you’ll be glad you did!

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