Forklift Blind Spot or “Where’s Waldo?”
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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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).
- Wear high visibility vests, in accordance with your location’s policies.
- 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: bhulberg@D2000safety.com
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