Discussion:
Forklift Accidents

In our plant we have approximately 20 forklifts running between the warehouse and the assembly lines. Aside from building columns, we have 10 floor mounted cranes throughout the plant. All too frequently we have incidents in which a forklift strikes either a building column or crane column. We have painted the columns yellow (floor to 6ft) to make them stand out and installed column protectors to reduce any damage. Ideally though, preventing the collisions is my goal. Does anyone have any advice they could share with regards to measures that have been successful in preventing these types of accidents ?

Thank-you
  • Posted 9 Dec 2010 00:52
  • Discussion started by jeff_m
  • Ontario, Canada
Jeff
Showing items 31 - 45 of 63 results.
At ProMat this year I looked at a system from Keytronics who mfg's forklift monitoring systems. I was impressed with the fact that this system goes beyond the general impact monitor and can notify of an impact by email notification, this is just a small example of the systems capabilities. I am ordering the Keytronic system on our next new machine and will put it to the test. Keep in mind any system is only as good as your company's policies.
  • Posted 16 Apr 2011 00:32
  • Reply by cownd
  • Arizona, United States
orchidlane29@gmail.com
One of my customers just got so fed up with forklifts hitting posts, overhead doors, and each other, installed surveillance cameras. Someone's job is to watch operations. Anyone hitting something is given 3 days off, no pay, to think about how to drive better. A 5 year employee just spent Tues.- Thurs. at home.
  • Posted 15 Apr 2011 09:04
  • Reply by mrfixit
  • New York, United States
Many valid suggestions by many professionals and our friend, who seems to have tried everything, is still troubled.

Simple! Besides all else, hit them in their wallets. Everytime they strike a column, fine them, 2,3,5 dollars. Collect the money and use it for a company summertime bRbque or Christmasy thingy. Keeps you out of trouble with the union, should keep everyone from driving into the columns. And I am serious!
  • Posted 24 Mar 2011 21:01
  • Modified 24 Mar 2011 21:02 by poster
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
Jeff,
Tried to put it in and it would not let me, see my profile and there is my company just put sales in front of rack with no space protect and then a com afterwards
  • Posted 17 Mar 2011 05:19
  • Reply by andrew_j
  • Florida, United States
I learn from my customers and mistakes
Andrew - you're email ?
  • Posted 17 Mar 2011 04:37
  • Reply by jeff_m
  • Ontario, Canada
Jeff,
I have recently seen and evaluated a product that might help you with your problem.It is not available in the USA/CA market yet and wee are looking for test sites to see if it would eliminate this specific problem.It works extremely well at Aisle ends but we get a lot of calls for your type problem. Please contact me directly for more info.
Not wishing to be mysterious but it is still patent pending.
Andrew Jordan take out the no spam
NO SPAM ([email address removed])
  • Posted 17 Mar 2011 04:15
  • Reply by andrew_j
  • Florida, United States
I learn from my customers and mistakes
The driver is not allowed to operate until the investigation is complete, the UA has cleared, and they have passed recertification as a forklift operator. If they have three or more incidents with-in a year they are then evaluated by the management lead team. It has been effective for us but it comes down to setting an example by staying with-in the policy we have set forth which could be anything from retraining to termination.
  • Posted 17 Mar 2011 02:24
  • Reply by cownd
  • Arizona, United States
orchidlane29@gmail.com
In the event one of your drivers has an accident, what steps do you take ? Is the driver pulled off the truck, is there "re-training", discipline, etc. ?
  • Posted 17 Mar 2011 01:33
  • Reply by jeff_m
  • Ontario, Canada
I think limiting the speed has helped us to a point. We also have incident investigations that involve several people, offending department lead, UA, and recertifications. One other thing we do is keep a metric of all forklift damage with a $ amount to each incident and then share that with our lead team. The SPA for that is our maintenance department who eventually see the reported or not reported damage. The bottom line for us is accountability at the department lead and first line supervisor levels. The first year we started our metric tracking we had $70,000 worth of damage the very next year it dropped $22,000. It takes time and dedication to accomplish this but; it has paid off with less damage, safer environment for our operators, and pedestrians, and a real cost savings as a bonus.
  • Posted 17 Mar 2011 01:09
  • Reply by cownd
  • Arizona, United States
orchidlane29@gmail.com
We have governed the trucks speed as you have. I don't think speed is the problem. I think it comes down to drivers being focused and aware of their surroundings. We are currently revising our forklift policy with the intent to improve how we deal with accidents/incidents.
  • Posted 16 Mar 2011 22:53
  • Reply by jeff_m
  • Ontario, Canada
Have you tried limiting the travel speed? We have an indoor speed limit of 5mph and outdoor speed limit of 7mph. It has cut the travel speed in half but productivity has not been affected much. We have the Yale VX series forklifts so setting and experimenting with speeds has been easy.
  • Posted 15 Mar 2011 07:23
  • Reply by cownd
  • Arizona, United States
orchidlane29@gmail.com
Sounds like you and your company have done everything you can to prevent this - except for making the operators responsible for their own actions. Union shop or not, if someone was stood by these colums they would now most likely be dead - no union in the world would condone this. First off operator selection is important, responsible attitude is very important. The operator has to face consequences for their actions, maybe a fine system, loss of bonus, job demotion? As in life itself people have to be made responsible for their own actions, if you or your company are accepting full responsibility for your operators maybe thats the root cause of the problem ? (IMHO)
  • Posted 3 Feb 2011 20:31
  • Reply by MaxaM60
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
Instructor, ITSSAR Cat' 4 Tutor
If the operators can not see the obstacles, adding a mirror or camera system may help to prevent damages and accidents.

Products like Shockwatch are intended to disable the forklift after a collision to make it possible to identify the operator.
  • Posted 14 Dec 2010 08:29
  • Reply by Laurens
  • Gelderland, Netherlands
Typically it is aisle traffic. Sometimes the trucks have a load, sometimes they don't. In many cases, there has been 20ft or more between the column and the next obstacle. I'm going to try the suggestion of marking out the floor around the column in a few spots and see what kind of feedback I get from the operators.
  • Posted 14 Dec 2010 05:20
  • Reply by jeff_m
  • Ontario, Canada
Jeff
jeff m:

Are the columns being hit by aisle travel? If so, should the loads be trailing? Are the columns being hit by spotting from the aisle? If so, are the columns obstructed by the load being spotted? How congested is your facility? Are aisle widths adequate?

I recommend you stop random forklift operations and get in the operator's seat to determine yourself the actual visibility? If it is a visibility problem, you will know what the operators may be up against trying to maintain production levels.

Without seeing your facility layout and the actual forklift movement, this is just a shot in the dark. If it were my problem, I would start by determining the visibility factor including if operators can see your safety markings from the operator's seat with varying loads.
  • Posted 12 Dec 2010 05:48
  • Modified 12 Dec 2010 23:08 by poster
  • Reply by joseph_h
  • Michigan, United States

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