Specific OSHA requirements have to be met in order to use any kind of forklift. A lot of the companies utilizing forklifts will offer basic training to the other office and sales employees in combination with visitors and other non operators who may venture into the distribution areas. Though OSHA doesn't particularly deal with lift truck pedestrian training, the OSHA General Duty Clause dictates that employers should take measures in order to protect employees from certain dangers, such as pedestrians exposed to lift trucks in motion.
Pedestrian safety is a huge concern which needs to be addressed and not overlooked. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH; around 20% of all forklift mishaps comprise a pedestrian being struck by a forklift. This statistic means approximately 19,000 individuals on a yearly basis.
So as to keep everyone safe, there are several basic steps which must be taken into account. This is regardless to how briefly or frequently people are around industrial trucks during their work day. One of the main considerations is that lift truck pedestrian mishaps normally happen in cases where the pedestrian is not aware of safety measures. Issues also happen more often when the pedestrian has become used to frequent interaction with forklifts and ends up complacent.
So as to avoid putting yourself at potential risk of being struck by a forklift, there are some common situations to look out for. Among the most common issues is when pedestrians did not see the forklift. Numerous operations have various degrees of blind corners or intersections that pedestrians need to be aware of. Sometimes pedestrians do not hear the lift truck. Be careful of the different kinds of power sources. For example, electric trucks could be much quieter than internal combustion engines that are really loud.
The other main issues are when pedestrians come in too near the machine. Common sense tells us that in order for a pedestrian to be injured by a lift truck, the pedestrian has to be near to be struck. For a forklift that is running, a four foot safety zone is recommended so as to make a safe perimeter for everyone. This helps to address risks such as the unit accidentally driving over the foot of a pedestrian.
Implementing and following strict safety protocol helps to make sure that the workplace safety remains paramount and stays top notch.