Forklift Danger Zone

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There is always a danger when a pedestrian purposefully interacts with a powered industrial truck whether it be a forklift, man lift or pallet jack. The key to interaction is to ensure both the pedestrian and the vehicle operator know each of others position and intention.

Each year pedestrians get their foot run over by such vehicles as they approach or in the process of communicating with the vehicle operator. This is why many companies have instituted a "safety halo" for forklifts indicating if a pedestrian is within 3 feet of the vehicle, the operator must stop and apply the parking brake. Many have found this operation rule very effective in reducing injuries and near misses.

Perhaps the worst case is when a pedestrian intentionally interacts with a forklift to "help". In the case outlined below, it appears an employee went between an unstable load and the forklift to help stabilize the load. As seen below, this can have deadly consequences:

Columbus man dies after workplace incident involving forklift, crates of live chickens
Lincoln Star Journal
by Andrew Wegley
Aug 3, 2021

A 23-year-old Columbus man died Monday after he was crushed between a pair of chicken cages and a forklift in a workplace incident, according to the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

Bairon Neftali Carreto Perez died on Monday after the incident reported at 12:40 p.m. at a farm northeast of Lindsay.

Carreto Perez had been helping transport the large crates of live chickens. During the move, according to a news release, some crates became dislodged from each other and the forklift, and when Carreto Perez stepped in to assist, the crates slipped again and crushed him against the forklift, according to the release.

Powered industrial truck operator/pedestrian interaction and communication is a shared responsibility between both parties and failure to effectively embrace that responsibility can have deadly consequences.


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