Forklifts and Pedestrians: A Deadly Mix

Accidents involving forklifts and pedestrians can be devastating and the number of these incidents seems to be on the rise. Fortunately, your employees can stay safe by adhering to a few basic rules.

When entering areas where forklifts operate, pedestrians should:

  • Use pedestrian walkways or stay to one side of the equipment aisle.
  • Never walk in the direct path of a moving forklift with the expectation that it will be able to stop suddenly.
  • Remember that a forklift driver’s visibility may be limited due to blind spots.
  • Be aware of a forklift’s attachments. You may not notice them immediately.
  • Never pass under the elevated load of a forklift.
  • Never ride on a forklift unless you are authorized to do so and the forklift is designed to accommodate a passenger.

When operating forklifts around pedestrian traffic, drivers should:

  • Slow down, stop and sound the horn before proceeding through intersections or when vision is obstructed.
  • Yield the right of way to pedestrians whenever possible.
  • Proceed cautiously through congested areas.
  • When traveling in reverse, activate the forklift’s flashing light or backup alarm, if available.
  • Use a spotter for blind spots.
  • Look in the direction of travel. Do not proceed without a clear view.
  • Whenever possible, make eye contact with pedestrians and signal them to stand clear.
  • Do not allow anyone to stand or pass under the load or lifting mechanism of the forklift.