30 Sep Forklift Blind Spot Safety Tips
Forklift blind spots are one of the leading causes of forklift accidents involving pedestrians. This is one of those persistent issues that can compromise your workplace safety. No matter how experienced the driver is, there’s always a spot on a driver’s radar that goes undetected. Getting rid of forklift blind spots is one of the most important safety mechanisms for any forklift driver. Let’s look at the ways to minimize blind spots in your workplace.
The Buddy System – When transporting loads through a blind spot, use a buddy system to alert area pedestrians, block off potential hazards or guide you through a tight spot. For optimal blind spot safety, always have a co-worker look out for you.
Slow down – Maintaining safe, recommended speeds make sense for both drivers and nearby pedestrians. The faster you’re traveling, the better chance you will travel through blind spots. Sounding a horn well in advance of a blind corner and proceeding slowly is also a major safety precaution. Reduce the speed of your forklift, and you’ll be amazed how those blind spots will be reduced.
Pedestrians – The best way to prevent pedestrian accidents include ensuring a well-lit workplace and routing forklift traffic away from any area where pedestrians might frequent. More than 50% of accidents involving industrial trucks and pedestrians occur when forklift trucks are reversing.
Safety mirrors – Safety mirrors on forklifts are not a substitute for checking blind spots in traditional ways such as head turns and the buddy system. Bubble-shaped mirrors give any driver added visibility. As it turns out, they’re also a nice addition to dockyards, warehouses, construction sites and other places where industrial equipment operates. Some larger forklifts have mirrors installed to encourage regular blind spot checks. Always use safety mirrors along with horns and spotters to boost safety.
Dangerous intersections –Have a safety plan in place to deal with dangerous intersections. Passing other forklifts near intersections increases the chance of accidents and jeopardizes blind spot safety. Intersections include aisle crossovers in warehouses, transition areas from cargo storage areas to docks, and other high-traffic areas in your workplace.
Changes in light conditions – Blind spots created by rapid changes in light conditions can create real safety issues. Always pay attention to the current lighting environment, along with any approaching areas where light quality/quantity changes. If a forklift driver comes out from a darkened warehouse into sunlight, or from a well-lit condition into a dark area, a literal blind spot can occur.
Parts of the forklift itself are culprits in obscuring the operator’s view. The framework of the forklift can easily hide a pedestrian. A full load can completely block the forward view. The operator may fail to look in the direction of travel and instead may focus on the load. When the operator turns around one way to back up, they have a large blind spot on the other side.
The Linde Guardian system assists all personnel involved in internal traffic. The systems can see around corners and can be programmed to suit any hazardous scenario. By use of truck, infrastructure and pedestrian units, the product provides full-service awareness technology.