Specific OSHA requirements have to be met in order to use any type of forklift. A lot of the companies utilizing lift trucks will provide basic training to the other sales and office employees in addition to visitors and other non operators who might venture into the distribution areas. Even though OSHA doesn't particularly address lift truck pedestrian training, the OSHA General Duty Clause dictates that employers must take measures so as to protect employees from some dangers, like for example pedestrians exposed to lift trucks in motion.
A huge issue which would have to be addressed is pedestrian safety. Based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH; about 20% of all forklift mishaps include a pedestrian being struck by a forklift. This statistic means approximately 19,000 people on an annual basis.
In order to keep everyone safe, there are some basic steps that must be taken into consideration. This is regardless to how briefly or frequently people are around industrial trucks during their work day. Amongst the major factors is that lift truck pedestrian accidents often happen in cases where the pedestrian is not aware of safety precautions. Issues also occur more frequently when the pedestrian has become used to frequent interaction with forklifts and ends up complacent.
There are several common situations to look out for in order to prevent placing yourself at possible risk from being struck by a lift truck. Pedestrians not seeing the forklift is a common issue which needs to be dealt with. Lots of operations have various degrees of blind corners or intersections which pedestrians must know. Sometimes pedestrians do not hear the lift truck. Be really careful of the various kinds of power sources. Like for example, electric trucks may be much quieter than IC engines that are super loud.
The other major problems are when pedestrians come in too near the machine. Common sense tells us that in order for a pedestrian to be injured by a lift truck, the pedestrian needs to be near to be struck. For a forklift that is working, a four foot safety zone is recommended so as to make a safe perimeter for everybody. This really helps to deal with risks like the unit accidentally driving over the foot of a pedestrian.
To make certain that the workplace safety remains paramount and stays top notch, the implementation and following of strict safety protocol is key.