Whether you interact with lift trucks daily or only on occasion, knowing how to work safely around them is important for everyone. June 12 is National Lift Truck Safety Day, making it the perfect time to get a refresher course in safe lift truck practices.
As a pedestrian, remember these rules:
- Always stop, look, listen and look again before crossing a designated cross walk.
- Stay within the marked walkways and obey all traffic rules of the facility.
- Due to equipment noise and congestion, you may not be able to hear audible alarms or see warning signals. It is very important to be aware of all activities that are around you and your work area.
- As a pedestrian, always make eye contact with the mobile equipment operator prior to entering the operating area. Indicate your intentions and get an affirmative response from the driver. Always make eye contact with the driver before proceeding.
- Always wear high visibility vests or clothing to ensure you can be spotted by lift truck drivers.
- For some facilities, follow any radio, phone ahead, or lighting/signal communications prior to going in high lift truck traffic areas to ensure drivers know you will be in the area.
As a lift truck operator, always follow these important safe practices:
- Inspect your lift truck before you begin your shift. If any out of service items are identified, report them to your supervisor immediately. Do not operate the lift truck.
- Wear your seat belt, safety glasses, and high visibility vest or shirt when you are on your lift truck.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Most lift trucks have large "blind spots," that can limit your ability to see pedestrians, as well as other lift trucks near you. Look in the direction of travel at all times.
- Use the lift truck's horn when approaching pedestrian crosswalks, aisle intersections, and going around corners. Slow down and be prepared to stop.
- Travel with the lift truck's load or attachment no higher than 6 to 8 inches off the floor. When a load blocks your forward vision, travel in reverse.
- Never assume that a pedestrian knows you are approaching them. Stop, get their attention, and communicate intentions.
- Always travel at a safe speed when operating your lift truck.
If you have any questions, contact your site's safety specialist to ensure you know the right actions to take around life trucks.