June 08, 2007

Forklift Fears: Addressing the driving safety for forklifts

Of all the factory accidents, only one percent is caused by forklift accidents. However, 10 percent of all physical injuries from these factory accidents are due to forklift incidents. According to an article written by Barrett Miller for Safety-engineer.com, although perceived as operator errors, 25 percent of these forklift accidents are caused by “controllable environmental factors.”

Miller recommends evaluating the environmental blind spots in the driver’s path and considering the risk of each. He listed a walk-through guideline to follow:
1. When approaching an aisle, determine at what point the driver can first see an approaching pedestrian.
2. Next, determine the point at which he is likely to see the pedestrian.
3. Compute the desired speed in the area in feet per second. Multiply the measured speed by 1.5 (You may use 3 mph as a standard speed limit.)
4. Multiply the speed, measured in feet per second, by 1.75. This will provide a measure of the mechanical delay of the driver and the vehicle.
5. Add 1.3 feet for each mile per hour of your established speed limit.