The blind spots of the forklift


Unfortunately accidents happen with forklift trucks. It is important that you are aware of the risks using a forklift. Prevention is always better. This blog focuses on the blind spots of the forklift.

Anyone who has ever driven a forklift knows that it is difficult to keep an optimal view of the working environment. Not only the load on the fork, or unclear intersections or underpasses in the warehouse limit the view for forklift truck drivers. The truck itself also has blind spots. A-frames (the front pillars of the overhead guard), the mast and bulkhead prevent a clear view of the roadway, while the fork carriage, hydraulic hoses, cylinders and any attachments restrict the view of the load. Not to mention peripherals such as terminals or scanners with which the modern warehouse or forklift truck is now equipped.

Accidents with forklift trucks

Too often the limited visibility leads to unsafe situations. About 150 to 200 serious accidents occur annually involving internal transport equipment. That is just the tip of the iceberg. The reported accidents include accidents resulting in death, hospitalization and / or permanent injury. However less serious accidents – let alone near misses – are often not even reported.

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The blind spots of the forklift

Prevent poor visibility

Not all incidents are the result of poor visibility, but we can safely say that safety on the floor is significantly improved when visibility increases. There are measures you can implement to ensure accidents are less likely to happen.

  • Increase pedestrian visibility
  • Separate walking and driving traffic
  • Keep pedestrians out of areas with forklift trucks
  • Increase visibility of lift trucks
  • Make sure you are aware of the view around the truck from the driver’s perspective

Measures to improve visibility and vision

Fortunately, measures can be taken to improve vision. For example, by providing unclear points in the warehouse with mirrors or more advanced aids that monitor and warn by means of an acoustic and / or visual signal if there is any danger.

Adjusting the infrastructure and / or layout can also improve safety. A large part of the risks is eliminated by physically separating pedestrians from internal transport. Organisational measures, such as the introduction of one-way traffic in aisles and the (automatic or non-automatic) adjustment of speeds in high-risk areas or at the end of an aisle, also give an extra boost to safety.

Also make sure that pedestrians in the warehouse are wearing a fluorescent safety jacket. You can even provide visitors with a different colour so forklift drivers are easily aware that those persons will have less awareness of risks. Increasing visibility will decrease the chance of any accidents.

It is important that you stimulate safety awareness amongst your staff. Make sure they are all trained well and do remind them of the importance of safety during briefings.

Unilift South Wales Forklift Trucks

At Unilift South Wales we do not only provide you with excellent new forklift equipment or used forklifts but we can also advice you on safety in your working environment. We provide the complete package so that you are ready to use our quality forklift trucks in a safe and responsible way. Do not hesitate and contact us today for your perfect forklift solution.