The first step to prevent powered industrial truck accidents in a facility is to establish a traffic pattern. This is management’s responsibility. Management must ensure:
- Aisles are well-lighted and free from obstructions.
- Floors are sound and in good shape. Wet, oily or icy surfaces should be avoided. Clean them up as soon as possible.
- Aisles are marked clearly. When they are wide enough for two trucks to pass each other, the center of the aisle and the two extreme edges should be marked with painted lines. In some plants, the aisles are wide enough for two truck lanes and a pedestrian lane.
- Do not allow for two trucks to run side by side in the same direction.
- A truck must never pass another truck at an intersection, blind spot or other dangerous location. In areas where there is high concentration of truck traffic, it may be best to have one-way aisles.
- Speed limits are set and strictly enforced. A few speed limit signs at strategic points serve as constant reminders to truck operations.
- Prominently display stop signs at all crossings. These may be regular stop signs or signs painted or set into the floor. You can also use stripes and discs as indicators.
- Each plant must set up its own rules regarding traffic control, but a required four-way stop at every intersection is a wise way to avoid collisions. Plants that have adopted the four-way stop requirements have found that no significant time is lost by this extra precautionary measure.
Leaving a Forklift Unattended
A forklift is considered to be unattended when it is not in view of the operator or if it is in view, the operator is 25 feet or more away.
If you leave a forklift unattended:
- Select a secure location on level ground.
- Set the brakes.
- Set the controls to neutral.
- Tilt the forks forward and lower them to the ground.
- Turn off the power and remove the key.
- If the forklift is parked on an incline, block the wheels.
- If you dismount a forklift and stay within 25 feet, you must at least lower the forks to the ground, set the controls to neutral, and set the brakes.