Nearly half of forklift injuries are suffered by pedestrians. Most of these injuries are bruises from moving forklifts, but workers also trip over the forks of parked forklifts. Sometimes workers stand on the elevated forks and fall off or stand too close to a working forklift in a confined space and get their toes crushed. Some injuries are serious, involving crushed extremities, and some are fatal.
When Forklifts Aren’t Moving
Even non moving forklifts can be dangerous. Look out for the forks. They lay flat on the ground and you don’t want to trip over them. Never walk under the elevated loads of a forklift. They may fall on you. Because only drivers licensed for forklifts are permitted to touch forklift controls, leave forklift controls alone.
Forklift Refueling and Recharging Areas
Observe all warning signs posted in refueling and recharging areas. Never smoke, light a match or cause a spark near any forklift that’s being refueled or recharged.
When You Work Around Forklifts
Stay alert. Many forklifts have very quiet motors. They may come around comers or across aisles without warning. Avoid short cuts for that reason and walk only in designated aisles. Drivers are concentrating on their work and may be unaware of your presence.
When you’re working in the vicinity of forklifts keep your distance so their wheels won’t run over your feet. Forklifts typically weigh three to four times more than a car, even without a load. Be especially careful near the tail end of a moving forklift. They can swing around surprisingly quickly. And when a forklift is backing up, stay dear.
Finally, forklifts are definitely not vehicles for horseplay. Trying to hitch a ride on one may be inviting trouble. Forklifts can be dangerous, so, even as a pedestrian, treat them with respect.