Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way

36 percent of people who die in forklift-related accidents are pedestrians according to OSHA. Many of these pedestrians are struck when forklifts tip over while others are caught between the machine and a surface or between two forklifts. A small number have also been run over.

These statistics paint a grim yet important picture. Pedestrians will always come off worse in an interaction with a forklift.

The Rules In Forklift-Pedestrian Interactions

OSHA states that pedestrians have the right of way over forklifts. This means that if a forklift operator comes across a pedestrian they should top and wait until the pedestrian passes before continuing on their designated path.

Forklift operators should also move cautiously in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. This means moving at a controlled speed while remaining aware of their surroundings.

Additional Forklift Safety Tips To Protect Pedestrians

In addition to moving at a controlled speed and yielding to pedestrians, forklift operators can also take the following measures to avoid accidents with pedestrians:

  • Walk the route before driving through to make note of hazards and potential points of interaction with pedestrians.
  • Use a spotter when the situation requires it
  • Use the horns when coming up to blind corners
  • Use both an audible alarm and a visible flashing light when backing up
  • Not allowing anyone to pass or stand under the forks or load
  • Warning pedestrians when there isn’t enough space

The company can also take measures to protect pedestrians including:

  • Ensuring drivers are well trained on how to safely operate forklifts near pedestrians.
  • Separating pedestrian and forklift traffic by creating designated walkways around the company. OSHA also requires that these passageways be well-marked and unobstructed.
  • Inspecting and maintaining forklifts to prevent accidents caused by mechanical failure.
  • Putting up signs to control traffic
  • Installing mirrors at blind intersections

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