Material Handling Network

January 2019 Issue

January 2019 Material Handling Directory

2018 Inserts


This just in from...

Fork Lift

Social Media Links

View Printer Friendly

Pedestrian safety

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Companies across the world spend many millions of dollars to train their forklift operators, but how many train the people that work around forklifts? Only a small number of companies do any pedestrian training and the majority of those do it as part of the facility orientation or as a generic two-minute video, neither of which is very effective. Pedestrians are involved in up to 40% of all forklift accidents and many end up being very serious or even fatal. One Central Ohio case involved a forklift running into a person and killing them. If you want to see the effect of a forklift accident on a family, you will want to see this video, located on YouTube at

You can also access this video from our web site at


What can be done?

1) Teach your forklift operators to look out for and yield to the pedestrians. Let them know that their actions and decisions could impact or end the lives of others and that they are a key piece in preventing forklift accidents. Focused, vigilant forklift operators, who are committed to safe operation, save lives.

2) Teach your (non-operator) pedestrians to look for and actively avoid interaction with forklifts, they may have the right of way, but could end up being “dead right.” You don’t have to look any further than YouTube to find handfuls of forklift accident videos that will assist you in making your point. Want to make it site specific, mount a GO PRO in back of the operator to show pedestrians how they look to the operator, leave it for a day and catch live action in your plant, be prepared to be scared when you look at the footage. You may be surprised how closely forklifts and people interact every day at your site.

3) Ask for safety suggestions to improve safety from both operators and pedestrians. Whether it is putting up a barrier, a mirror or redirecting traffic flow, it is easier and far less costly to do this BEFORE the accident. We have some good examples of forklift and pedestrian safety products on our web site.

4) Enforce your rules. Rules that are not enforced are called suggestions. Be sure forklift operators and pedestrians are following your rules for safe operation. If they are not you need to take action to change their behaviors quickly.

Written by Brian Colburn of Forklift Training Systems. A leader in forklift safety training and related products, they can be reached at or 614-583-5749. The company web site is