Just this month a forklift operator in the UK died when his forklift fell and crushed him. He could have survived if he’d worn his seat belt that day.
In 2014 a forklift operator runs over a warehouse worker who was looking to the right and didn’t see or hear the forklift coming.
As much as we try to prevent terrible workplace accidents like these, they do happen. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to prevent them though.
I spoke with a new customer the other day about accidents like these. Then I found out he didn’t know what a blue light was.
I suggested he subscribe to this newsletter, which he did. For his sake, and the sake of any subscribers who could use a reminder, let’s look at the safety accessories available in our industry.
Forklift Safety Accessories & Their Uses
Blue Light. We did a whole newsletter on these. Blue Lights attach to forklifts, and cast a blue light on the ground before or behind the forklift as it moves.
Safety Vests. Highway repair workers wear safety vests all the time. Those neon orange & yellow vests you can see a mile away? That’s why. They make you just as visible in a warehouse environment too.
Strobe Lights. While a blue light points down, a strobe light is positioned around eye-level. When it activates, all workers immediately see the flash. Right away they know large equipment is coming, or someone’s had an accident. The worker in the YouTube video above would have seen a strobe light & avoided injury.
Lightweight Propane Tanks. The new Doosan composite tanks we mentioned in September actually improve safety too. A much lighter LPG tank saves your back (since it’s only 7 pounds), and reduces injuries from dropping (it will just bounce off your shoe).
Seat Caddy. Caddies fit over the forklift seat, with pockets on the back side. They hold tools, water, phones and other small items. Which keeps these items out of the operator’s hands and lap, so he can focus on the important thing—driving!
Backup Alarms. We’ve all heard these. Beep! Beep! Forklift backing up! Get out of the way and you don’t get run over.
LED Road Flare. These are big flat LED lights with a magnetic back. Push a button & it lights up. Put one on a forklift and you have an instant warning system. If the operator lights up the LED Road Flare, then something’s wrong with the forklift. You could also put them on doorways, racks, gates…anywhere you want to let people know there’s a problem.
How & Where to Use Safety Accessories in Your Facility
Here’s my idea for a fully safety-conscious workplace.
- Each forklift is equipped with seat belts, blue lights, backup alarms, a composite LPG tank and a seat caddy.
- Electric Pallet Jacks are also equipped with a blue light and backup alarm.
- LED Road Flares stand attached to every row of shelving in the warehouse, every forklift, and at both entry & exit gates.
- Workers assigned safety vests, gloves & hard hats (as needed), with extras available at midway points in the warehouse/facility.
- Safety Training for all workers, renewed annually (at least), to make sure everyone knows what to watch out for, and what to do in the event of an accident.
Seems pretty simple when you read it. It’s always more complicated in practice, I know. But it does work. It does keep our workers safer.
You’ll find all of these products on Cromer’s ecommerce site, ForkliftBoss.com.
See you next month!
Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
Cromer Material Handling