Mirror, mirror, once installed - are you really safe at all?

Wayne Chornohus -
Safety First
- 22 Jul 2004 ( #167 )
1 min read
Mirrors have the power to deceive us, to give us a false sense of security. Some companies regulate the use of mirrors and some regulatory bodies comment on their use.
When I do on-site safety audits, I watch the operators to see how they use their mirrors. If they use shoulder checks, as well as mirrors, when turning and driving in pedestrian areas, then they should be able to keep using those mirrors.
But if operators use mirrors exclusively when driving and manoeuvring, then I recommend the mirrors be removed and the operator trained to look behind. It could be said that having a mirror is an invitation for operators to be less vigilant.
A good operator uses all the tools available and understands the limitations of mirrors. The best mirror to help the operator is the wide-scale parabolic mirror, although I would like to see this product incorporate a flat mirror at the bottom as well.
Canadian regulations state that "a rear view mirror is not required on mobile equipment if the conditions of use or equipment structure make the use of mirrors impracticable". In my opinion, mirrors should be used if the view to the rear is not clear.
Most standard warehouse trucks have an unfettered view to the rear so therefore a mirror should only be considered an aid to looking behind.
I would like to thank all the individuals who commented on my last article about steering wheel knobs. The one thought that should be made clear is that steering wheel knobs should not be installed on forklifts with "kickback" style steering systems.
Wayne Chornohus is a forklift consultant with Hunter Industries Ltd. He brings more than 20 years' experience in the forklift and training industries to the Forkliftaction.com community.
Also Read:
How 'optional' are 'extras' when it comes to risk control?
Todd Brennan
2 minute read
How 'optional' are 'extras' when it comes to risk control? Safety First - 11 Aug 2004 (#170) When purchasing a motor vehicle, the addition of accessories, or "optional extras", is an emotional decision designed to limit the entry price to an acceptable level by avoiding 'sticker shock'. But in the case of the purchase of load-shifting equipment such as forklifts, can they truly be called "optional extras"?
"Let's get a handle on it!"
Wayne Chornohus
1 minute read
"Let's get a handle on it!" Safety First - 24 Jun 2004 (#163) I wonder if jurisdictions that have outlawed forklift steering wheel knobs in the name of safety have any idea how they have contributed to increased health and safety risks?
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