Discussion:
Pedestrian safety around lift trucks

Recently we have had a flood of accidents involving people not looking for lift trucks before they enter an aisle and getting hit. (Prior to this, we have not had an accident like this in 10 years plus.)

Background information: Our lift trucks are electric (very quiet) and in some areas it is very noisy due to our metal stamping operation.

We are now looking at devices like strobes, beepers, backup alarms, etc. to alert employees The remark is that employees will get immune to these devices or they will drive the material handlers "crazy" listening to the beepers all day.

What do you suggest?
  • Posted 24 Aug 2004 22:45
  • Discussion started by doug_b
  • Ohio, United States
Doug B
Showing items 1 - 15 of 25 results.
Doug, have you found a solution yet? Have a look at EV Alert.com.au.
  • Posted 20 May 2005 11:11
  • Reply by donna_b
  • Victoria, Australia
At EV Alert we help you work safer & smarter.
There's something new in Australia that is unique in that is is not infra-red, so it DOES see around corners. The EV Alert coded UHF signal (adjustable from 0-40mtrs(0-130ft)) activates any device, receiver on wall, speed delimiters, it opens doors, sirens, flashing lights. In addition you can include a personal pager unit that buzzes & vibrates. The VHF unit has a range of 0-500mtrs) Has applications for trucks, trains, forklifts, you name it. evalert.com.au
  • Posted 20 May 2005 11:06
  • Reply by donna_b
  • Victoria, Australia
At EV Alert we help you work safer & smarter.
Garry

Thanks for your reply.

I ahve sent a message to Wayne and will let you know how I get on

Regards

Jim
  • Posted 11 Mar 2005 19:51
  • Reply by jim_h
  • Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Doug for some reason my e mail message can not be shown so you could try leaving a text message on my phone on 07739 774999 plus whatever code you need to get to the UK. I am busy at the Glassex Exhibition with this truck at the NEC in Birmingham UK 13th to 16th March so it is probably the best way.

Regards

Jim
  • Posted 11 Mar 2005 19:32
  • Reply by jim_h
  • Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Doug; You may have difficulty changing the attititude of the pedestrian or the fork truck driver, part of being human I suppose and it is too late to tell them if and when there is an accident. There is another approach to consider though. Depending on the application, you could consider putting the driver onto a Pedestrian truck It would slow him down (hopefully not your operation though) and make the environment safer for everone (no emissions) plus such a truck can be much more cost effective. My company Hubtex has just launched a new truck on the market, a 4 Way Pedestrian truck which solves many problems handling awkward sized loads indoors plus normal pallets. As I do not wish to use this space for free advertising, please contact me direct on [email address removed] if you would like more information

Regards

Jim
  • Posted 11 Mar 2005 19:28
  • Reply by jim_h
  • Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Jim:
To respond - if it's permitted. The person you could contact is Wayne Borean of Nett Technologies.
Wayne can provide some unique information as he's now with exhaust specialists and prior, he was with a lift truck dealership and has "much" insight on electrics, propane and diesel.
Their website is www.nett.ca, phone 1-800-361-NETT or 1-905-602-7747 ext 103.
E-mail [email address removed]
Let me know how you make out, please.
  • Posted 11 Mar 2005 10:43
  • Reply by garry_p
  • New Brunswick, Canada
Doug It sounds like you have a big problem!
You need a good risk assessment done, The soloution will become evident
Here is how - (A) Spot the hazard - clearly identify the problem.
(B) Assess the risk - Obviously it is an intollerable one.
(C) Fix it
(D) Early A.S.A.P.
This is the "S.A.F.E." system.
Do this by Eliminating the problem,Substitution, Engineered controls, Signage, Provide personal protective equipment & train your operators and your pedestrians.
For a company to suffer the described occurances you must have the pedestrian and forklifts working in the same area at the same time, If you can not separate them then you must train them to co-exist through policy/ proceedures & training.
Human life is the most important thing to be conciderd here.
Ask yourself "Is your company placing unreal expectations onto your drivers (this could be unstated but real none the less).

Priority should be given to creating a 3 meter exclusion zone around each forklift ( a no go zone).
I tend to think that too much speed is also involved here and also.
Priority shoul also be given to ensureing management awareness of the situation,
because management is responsible for the situation & soloution.
You must act immediatly and do not be hesitant to call a spade - a spade - state it as it is & where it needs to be said.
Don't forget to go back and to write down the common factors in all your incidents, this will point to the root cause or causes (a combination of factors).
Good Luck.
Dangerous.
  • Posted 11 Mar 2005 07:13
  • Reply by DANGEROUS
  • Queensland, Australia
"OUR BUSINESS IS SAFETY"
Garry Thank you for your prompt repy. Away from the article I am looking to produce, my quest is to get more information that will assist me to convince some customers to consider the better long term option of running electric trucks indoors. I would like to communicate with your contact in Canada as I feel this could be very useful. Thanks again for your assistance and I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards Jim Hammond
  • Posted 3 Mar 2005 21:37
  • Reply by jim_h
  • Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Jim:

Diesel trucks are not just for outside anymore. If you've been looking at the UK, I think you will find diesel trucks are used in many applications - inside. Their exhaust emissions can be controlled to make this possible.
Propane units are still popular, but as with all fuel types, carbon monoxide can be a problem if not monitored.
Electrics - over the years are gaining in popularity especially where they are working around food products and close proximity to pedestrian employees.
The cost is more expensive, but when you figure out that you're buying your fuel for the next 5 - 7 years in the initial price then the price becomes more realistic. Coupled with the comparison of a per hour rate for maintenance.
Electrics can come with pneumatic tires and can be used outside, but the capacity has been the problem that causes Companies to look at propane/gas or diesel.
You may also see a difference in cushion tire trucks used in North America and not as popular in the UK.
There are many Companies that sell exhaust purifiers for Diesel units and I'd recommend you speak to some of these people. I can supply an e-mail address for a gentleman in Canada that is very knowledgeable on this subject and could perhaps give you some very accurate information.
Regards
Garry Prosser
  • Posted 3 Mar 2005 21:03
  • Reply by garry_p
  • New Brunswick, Canada
Dear Industry Colleagues

I am currently compiling information to produce an article in a magazine
which explains the best suitability for fork trucks in different areas.
Common sense tells most fork truck dealers offering trucks and customers
that the following applies;

DIESEL TRUCKS; OUTDOOR USE MAINLY WITH RESTRICTED USE INDOORS
LPG TRUCKS INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE WITH LITTLE RESTRICTION
ELECTRIC TRUCKS; MAINLY INDOOR USE WITH OUTDOOR USE IF THE DESIGN OF THE
TRUCK PERMITS IT.

My problem however is this. My competitors sometimes tell my potential
customers that their diesel trucks will work indoors more frequently than
the above statement suggests and have also said that LPG trucks can work
indoors all the time without harm to employees. They say this because they
do not have an electric truck in their range.

I represent a manufacturer of Diesel, LPG and electric trucks and as such, we
can be seen to be acting impartial in any application. My concern is that
the information I have on the suitability of differing trucks in various
applications is limited and have tried to seek information from differing
sources without success.

It seems at the moment that there are potentially many thousands of
employees who are exposed to the harmful emissions from fork trucks working
indoors and this situation is going unchecked only because of ignorance
towards legislation, which includes myself.

I have already asked the HSE in the UK for information on this subject and have received a reply but it still does not give very clear guidelines. It seems only after a truck has been installed can suitability be properly tested, be that time it is too late and the wrong investment could have been made.

My own thoughts are that it has to be the combination of emissions, airspace
and ventilation that should determine what is a safe or unsafe environment.

This study could have wide ranging implications for my prospects and
customers alike and I would really like to help and educate these people to
help them to give their workforce a better, safer place to work in. It will
also benefit many people/companies who will never be customers of mine and I
also wish to help this much larger sector.

Can anyone offer additional advcie please?
Regards

Jim Hammond
[email address removed]
  • Posted 3 Mar 2005 20:46
  • Reply by jim_h
  • Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Brian,

You assume correctly. In adddition, it is a sit down truck and is quite large.

Doug
  • Posted 26 Feb 2005 04:11
  • Reply by doug_b
  • Ohio, United States
Doug,

Forward I will assume means "forks leading" or "forks first". Sit-down Rider Truck or Stand-up Rider? How big is the truck (capacity)? Just wondering.

Brian
  • Posted 25 Feb 2005 09:21
  • Reply by brian_c
  • Pennsylvania, United States
Hey Doug, sorry to hear of your misfortunes in the workplace with the forklift accidents. There is a product available that has been tested to decrease this exact problem. To view all their products go to alertsafetyproductscom....check out their action videos to actually see how the products works. You can call 8007834290 for further assistance
  • Posted 19 Feb 2005 04:41
  • Modified 19 Feb 2005 04:45 by poster
  • Reply by bill_chernick
  • Ohio, United States
Brian,

Interesting thinking!

To answer your question, the empty lift truck was going forward
  • Posted 19 Feb 2005 04:20
  • Reply by doug_b
  • Ohio, United States
Procedures, procedures, procedures!! You need clearly defined written procedures acounting for all interested parties.

Operator procedures, do's and don'ts, including horn use, visibility/obstructions, blind spots, verifying clear travel, travel speed, slowing down, stopping as required.

Pedestrian procedures, dedicated walkways, restricted areas, hazards of lift truck traffic. Train everybody on procedures. Enforce, enforce, enforce!!

Lights and alarms may be more than a nuisance. They may create another hazard if improperly applied. I detest "back-up" alarms on forklifts. Dump truck, ok, forklift, not! They beep in the wrong direction. If you add a travel alarm, have it beep in the "forks first" direction, which is the direction with obstructed view, and it will encourage travel in "forks following" direction, which provides the best view. Which direction was operator traveling when pedestrian was struck? Loaded or empty?

Establish dedicated pedestrian walkways, and restrict pedestrian traffic in areas where they have no business. When a forklift operator has to stop for a pedestrian, workflow and procuctivity is obstructed, affecting bottom line numbers. Don't want that, do you? Concave mirrors are very effective when all employees are trained, and required to use them. Remember, if you require it, you must enforce it, or it's not required.
  • Posted 18 Feb 2005 00:33
  • Reply by brian_c
  • Pennsylvania, United States
Nothing is idiot-proof to a motivated idiot.

Having trouble using the Discussion Forums? Contact us for help.

Forkliftaction.com accepts no responsibility for forum content and requires forum participants to adhere to the rules. Click here for more information.

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom Online garden supplies retailer Primrose has upgraded the materials handling fleet at its Sharpness, Gloucestershire high-bay fulfilment centre with a new fleet of Flexi articulated...
Everett, MA, United States A 38-year-old man has died while working on a forklift inside the Lineage Logistics storage facility in Everett. According to witnesses, a relatively new employee...

Inside Forkliftaction

Germany has a special place in the hearts of most people in materials handling. We are very familiar with their products globally and many of us have spent time at trade shows in the country which, in many ways, is the centre of forklift technology.
It has been distressing to
...Continue Reading

Inside Forkliftaction

Germany has a special place in the hearts of most people in materials handling. We are very familiar with their products globally and many of us have spent time at trade shows in the country which, in many ways, is the centre of forklift technology.
It has been distressing to
...Continue Reading
Everett, MA, United States A 38-year-old man has died while working on a forklift inside the Lineage Logistics storage facility in Everett. According to witnesses, a relatively new employee...
Dallas, TX, United States ePicker, a new materials handling equipment provider, has launched its fleet of stackers, pallet jacks, access vehicles and lithium-ion powered forklifts. Founder Jason Bratton says...
Dallas, TX, United States ePicker, a new materials handling equipment provider, has launched its fleet of stackers, pallet jacks, access vehicles and lithium-ion powered forklifts. Founder Jason Bratton says...
Germany By Allan Leibowitz Germany's materials handling manufacturers appear to have escaped the ravages of the country's floods which have left more than 120 people dead...

Inside Forkliftaction

Germany has a special place in the hearts of most people in materials handling. We are very familiar with their products globally and many of us have spent time at trade shows in the country which, in many ways, is the centre of forklift technology.
It has been distressing to
...Continue Reading