Forklift Blind Spot – Forklift Safety Newsletter – April 2014

Forklift Blind Spot or “Where’s Waldo?”

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Forklift Blind Spot View

We loved those books and helping our kids find Waldo amid a sea of distractions. But what about when we’re operating forklifts in areas with pedestrians ? How easily can we find Waldo in a forklift blind spot and avoid a collision?

If you’ve spent time operating a forklift, you know that:

  • The framework of the forklift can easily hide a pedestrian (see photo).
  • The load obstructs visibility.
  • The operator may fail to look in the direction of travel and instead may focus on the load.
  • When the operator turns around one way to back up, they have a large blind spot on the other side as seen in the photo below.
  • Visibility is obstructed by stacks of material.Forklift blind spot 2
  • Blind intersections are everywhere.
  • Forklifts (especially when loaded) cannot stop or turn quickly.

The problem is that most "Waldos" (pedestrians) are not aware of the forklift blind spot.

As a pedestrian, what can we do to ensure our own safety by staying out of a forklift blind spot?

  1. Always follow your company’s right of way rules, BUT even when you have right of way don’t step out in front of a moving forklift.
  2. At intersections, look both ways, and wait for the forklift to pass by (or make eye contact with the operator and wait for them to yield).
  3. Wear high visibility vests, in accordance with your location’s policies.
  4. Keep a safe distance from forklifts and beware of tail swing. More than one pedestrian has had their foot driven over by a turning forklift.

If you would like to share your experiences/photos of forklift incidents that can educate others on the principles of safe forklift operation please send them to:

We will not publish company or individuals names.

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Bruce Hulberg February 10, 2016
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