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Increase Forklift Safety to Avoid Accidents in 2021: 10 Tips & Equipment (Pedestrian Alert Systems)

Written on
January 18, 2021
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Increase Forklift Safety to Avoid Accidents

Today, careful managers around the world appreciate the vital importance of forklifts. Enhance safety and avoid warehousing accidents by using ten helpful forklift safety tips. Additionally, you can consider adopting our proven equipment to increase warehouse safety, also known as Pedestrian Alert Systems ("PAS"). 

Forklift Accidents

Ten Forklift Safety Tips For 2021

What practical steps can you take to help minimize the risks of forklift accidents during 2021? A desire to increase safety motivates numerous enterprises. Every year, forklift accidents result in an average of 85 deaths and 34,900 serious injuries. These statistics collected by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") reveal a serious workplace hazard!

Forklift Accident Statistics and staying safe 07 July 2019

Fortunately, combining intelligent daily operations with the use of dependable equipment helps promote safer workplaces. As heavy equipment, forklifts prove indispensable for many businesses. Whether you maintain a single forklift or an entire fleet, consider following ten safety tips:

1. Know Your Forklift

Every forklift possesses some important qualities. OSHA has recognized six different classes of forklift. Managers and operators need to know five key features of their forklifts:

  • The purpose of the forklift;
  • The maximum payload weight limit;
  • The recommended speed parameters;
  • The turning radius;
  • The forklift structure.

Safety experts recommend never expecting a forklift to exceed its limitations. Completely preventable accidents sometimes occur because operators attempt to use one class of forklift to complete work intended for another, different machine.

For example, the Industrial Truck Association reports four out of every ten forklift-related accidents occur when a forklift tips over. Attempting to turn at too tight an angle or operating the machinery at too high a speed can result in catastrophe. Overturned forklifts have become the leading cause of forklift-related deaths.

2. Follow OSHA Regulations 

Fortunately, OSHA provides specific safety rules for forklift operations. Enterprises using this equipment consult 29 CFR 1910.178. Additionally, companies using forklifts during construction also rely on 29 CFR 1926.600-602.

The federal agency expects employers using forklifts to conduct training for employees operating forklifts. Operators need to pass a test and recertify at least once every three years. Untrained operators in the past sometimes became involved in serious accidents. Today, many available resources help businesses train and update their forklift operators.

3. Dress For Safety

Most forklift safety experts recommend ensuring people using forklifts wear appropriate attire. They should make certain loose clothing or jewelry cannot become accidentally entangled in moving parts of the forklift or caught on nearby obstructions. For example, if a forklift transports employees, OSHA requires the use of a suitable platform and a transport cage.

Additionally, forklift operators work more safely by wearing safety jackets. Sturdy, reinforced safety shoes and hard hats offer useful protection against hazards. Operators may require additional gear, based upon the job site.

4. Conduct Daily Forklift Safety Checks

Companies also increase forklift safety by adhering to a daily checklist. Drivers should inspect a forklift before using it. Making sure the lights and warning alert systems function correctly proves very important. Using a written checklist (like an aircraft pilot), helps many operators ensure this heavy equipment works properly.

5. Never Overload Your Forklift

One of the most important forklift safety tips relates to observing machine payload weight limits. Operators avoid many problems by taking the time to balance and secure loads correctly. These precaution ultimately create safer warehouses.

Some forklifts routinely transport pallets from one location to another. Adhering to safe cargo loading and unloading procedures helps prevent property losses. This step also helps avoid dangerous forklift imbalances and turnovers.

6. Never Touch The Mast During Forklift Operations

Safety experts caution anyone against attempting to touch the mast of an operating forklift. If items become jammed in the machinery, it makes sense to remove the forklift from operations. Wait until a mechanic can repair the forklift. In the past, serious accidents occurred when employees attempted to adjust masts manually.

7. Exercise Care During Refueling

Refueling a gas-powered forklift sometimes creates safety hazards. These machines may grow hot during operation. Experts recommend always adhering to manufacturer refueling instructions carefully. Turning off the forklift before refueling can reduce a warehouse fire hazard, for instance.

8. Never Stand Beneath a Forklift Load

Although most people never intentionally walk beneath a forklift load, this situation does arise and cause accidents. A load may slip off and seriously injure or kill an unwary pedestrian in a warehouse. Frequently, poor visibility contributes to this type of mishap.

Large, bulky cargo may partly obstruct an operator's view. Additionally, imbalanced loads placed on shelves or racks may topple over onto bystanders following placement. For this reason, many companies pay close attention to safeguarding foot traffic in work areas frequented by forklifts.

9. Only Work in Well-Illuminated Locations

The safety of forklift operations deteriorates in areas with poor visibility. Safety experts urge managers to ensure adequate illumination in areas where forklifts operate. Replace burned out light bulbs in these locations promptly. Additionally, ensure forklifts operated outside after dark maintain adequate lighting.

For example, the use of forklifts in areas like loading docks may prove especially hazardous without sufficient light. In the past, accidents have occurred when forklift operators failed to observe floor markings in warehouses and loading docks. A forklift running off a loading dock or colliding with an electrical box can result in serious injuries.

10. Don't Operate a Damaged Forklift

Has a forklift sustained damage? In this situation, most manufacturers urge operators to obtain repair services before attempting to use the equipment again. Regular maintenance and repair attention help promote safe forklift use.

Since modern warehouses rely extensively on this equipment, managers often discover advantages in seeking regular forklift inspections. Taking this step may assist a company in identifying mechanical problems quickly and efficiently.

Equipment for warehouse safety:

Pedestrian Alert Systems

The Pedestrian Alert System available through Industrial Engineering Solutions (IES) assists forklift operators in overcoming visibility problems. It offers a simple way to increase forklift safety. This system furnishes scalability benefits, also. Both giant enterprises and small businesses consider investing in this forklift safety equipment.

How the Pedestrian Alert System Works

Essentially, this Pedestrian Alert System informs an operator when someone moves within a designated range of heavy equipment. Statistics indicate a high number of fatal accidents occur when a forklift accidentally collides with people on foot. The Industrial Truck Association estimates this scenario accounts for one out of every ten forklift-related deaths, in fact.

Yet numerous warehouses, retailers, and production facilities frequently utilize forklifts near pedestrians. At loading docks and storage facilities, firms may need to protect both forklift drivers and workers on foot. Using this innovative IES system can help give operators (and pedestrians) advanced notice about impeding hazards.

The IES Pedestrian Alert System enables facilities to furnish authorized pedestrians with a charged electronic tag. An RFID Activator installed on the forklift notifies the operator when a tag-carrier moves within a predetermined radius. This system can distinguish foot traffic between distances ranging from 3.2 feet to 21.3 feet.

The system operates seamlessly with a variety of heavy equipment. Diesel, LP, and Electric forklifts all utilize this system. IES supplies personalized assistance installing this technology for customers.

Basic Kit Components

We market the system in a highly scalable kit form. Customers receive five basic components:

  • A Test Tag;
  • A testing system Verification Antenna;
  • An Activator RFID Device;
  • A Wireless Charging Station;
  • A Minimum of One T-10R Tags.

Every warehouse setting differs in terms of its layout and most common safety hazards. IES assists customers in tailoring Pedestrian Alert Systems.

Obtain Customized Assistance

The ability to obtain knowledgeable assistance implementing a new Pedestrian Alert System holds great value. Enterprises today utilize forklifts in a multitude of settings. However, some firms employ this equipment more often than others.

Warehouse managers sometimes decide to use this innovative technology for many reasons:

  • Enhance warehouse worker safety;
  • Protect site visitors;
  • Safeguard safety and quality control personnel moving on foot through a busy location;
  • Curb high insurance rates;
  • Minimize the risk of serious accidents;
  • Cultivate a proactive "corporate safety culture" within your facility.

Other Helpful Warehouse Safety Solutions From IES

The Pedestrian Alert System by Industrial Engineering Solutions harnesses technology to create safer workplaces. IES offers a wide variety of other safety systems of interest to anyone managing a warehouse or a loading dock.

For example, customers sometimes choose to implement this system in conjunction with other safety systems. Just a few solutions available through IES include:

Collision Avoidance Systems to help forklift operators detect other vehicles
Collision Avoidance Systems to help forklift operators detect other vehicles

A Traffic Control System to help regulate the flow of warehouse traffic
A Traffic Control System to help regulate the flow of warehouse traffic

A Pedestrian Crossing System to add traffic lights to busy locations in warehouses
A Pedestrian Crossing System to add traffic lights to busy locations in warehouses

Visual Alert Systems to help guide warehouse forklift operators
Visual Alert Systems to help guide warehouse forklift operators

Blind Spot Management Systems to improve visibility in warehouses
Blind Spot Management Systems to improve visibility in warehouses

Truck Docking System that warns the cargo vehicle driver of the presence of other staff at a loading dock
Truck Docking System that warns the cargo vehicle driver of the presence of other staff at a loading dock

Contact Us for More Information

Industrial Engineering Solutions (IES) works closely with customers. We help tailor industrial systems to meet your unique work setting. Today, businesses across the United States prioritize safety very highly.

Preventing tragic accidents assists warehouses of every size. Safeguard people and inventory, and prevent lawsuits and costly OSHA sanctions. Installing pedestrian alert systems even helps some enterprises reduce expensive insurance rates. These high-tech solutions prove very cost-effective!

To learn more about installing valuable PAS or other safety systems in your workplace, simply contact us at +1 (844) 909-0437 today. You may also email the company at or via this form.

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