To be able to operate any type of forklift, certain OSHA requirements have to be met. Several companies offer basic awareness training to other people such as visitors and office employees or sales people and other non-operators who may venture into the yard or warehouse. Even if OSHA doesn't particularly deal with lift truck pedestrian training, the OSHA General Duty Clause dictates that employers have to take measures in order to protect employees from some risks, such as pedestrians exposed to moving lift trucks.
A big problem which would have to be addressed is pedestrian safety. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH; about 20 percent of all forklift accidents include a pedestrian being struck by a forklift. This statistic translates to about 19,000 people each year.
In order to keep everyone safe, there are some basic steps which should be taken into account. This is regardless to how briefly or frequently people are around industrial trucks in their work day. Among the major considerations is that lift truck pedestrian accidents usually occur in cases where the pedestrian is not aware of safety precautions. Problems also happen more frequently when the pedestrian has become used to frequent interaction with forklifts and ends up complacent.
There are some common situations to look out for in order to avoid placing yourself at potential risk from being struck by a forklift. Pedestrians not seeing the lift truck is a common issue which has to be dealt with. Many operations have different degrees of intersections or blind corners that pedestrians must know. At times pedestrians do not hear the forklift. Be careful of the different kinds of power sources. For example, electric trucks may be a lot quieter compared to IC engines which are super loud.
The other main issues are when pedestrians come in too close proximity of the equipment. Common sense tells us that in order for a pedestrian to be injured by a forklift, the pedestrian needs to be near to be struck. For a lift truck that is running, a four foot safety zone is suggested in order to make a safe perimeter for everyone. This really helps to address risks like for example the model driving accidentally over the foot of a pedestrian.
To make sure that the workplace safety remains paramount and stays top notch, the implementation and following of strict safety protocol is vital.