Lift trucks can lead to workplace accidents and pedestrian accidents. A study by Hyster Co. has found that employers can reduce serious accidents involving workplace lift trucks by using some safety precautions:
1) Improve workplace layout. Creating separate travel zones for pedestrians and lift trucks is important and can reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, especially in situations where there are many pedestrians or many lift trucks present in a small area. It is important to keep in mind, too, that many pedestrian accidents involving lift trucks involve workers who are working with the lift truck operator at the time of the accident. Therefore, it is a good idea to create separate areas for employees working on foot and employees working in lift trucks.
2) Increase visibility, especially at the rear of the lift truck. Reflector lights, lights, and visible signs or colors are important. Many pedestrians involved in lift truck accidents simply did not see the lift truck at the time of the accident, according to the Hyster study. It is especially important to improve visibility on the back of a lift truck, since lift truck drivers are likely to have more blind spots when reversing.
3) Install alarms on lift trucks and instruct workers to always use these alarms. Flashing lights or clearly audible noise alarms can raise the awareness of pedestrians about lift trucks in the vicinity. However, these alarms must be used each time a lift truck is in motion to
4) Reduce speeds in workplace areas involving lift trucks. Any time trucks are present in a work place, it is important to reduce surrounding traffic in order to create a safe work area. It is also a good idea to place a maximum speed on lift trucks. The slower a lift truck is moving, the more time a driver has to take evasive manoeuvres to prevent a crash.
5) Train pedestrians and workers. Place signs in a work area, reminding visitors and pedestrians to be aware of lift trucks in the area. Train employees to exercise additional caution around moving lift trucks. Make sure that any employees driving lift trucks are fully qualified and trained for the job; trained drivers are more likely to avoid collisions than drivers unfamiliar with lift trucks.