Employees working within your warehouse are exposed to a variety of potential dangers on a daily basis. Mitigating these dangers is essential when it comes to maintaining a safe and comfortable working environment. If you rely on a forklift to help transport pallets of goods within your warehouse, these machines could serve as a source of danger.
Here are three safety concerns for those working near forklifts, and some simple ways you can address these concerns within your warehouse in the future.
1. Shared Pathways
Workers and forklift operators often work in close proximity to one another. This means that the risk of collision between a forklift and an employee is always present, especially when the forklift operator's view might be obstructed by a loaded pallet.
Eliminating the potential for collision within your warehouse can be simple. All you need to do is design your warehouse so that there are separate lanes for forklifts and pedestrians. Having two separate and distinct pathways helps keep workers and forklifts from coming into contact with one another and can significantly reduce the potential for worker injury in the future.
2. Blind Intersections
Warehouses are often organized using a grid system. Racks containing pallets filled with product are arranged in a grid-like pattern, with lanes left between them where forklifts and workers can move throughout the warehouse. Although this grid system helps to maintain order, it can also create blind intersections that can be difficult for a forklift operator to navigate safely.
By installing mirrors at each blind intersection within your warehouse, you give an operator whose view is obstructed with a loaded pallet the opportunity to identify workers or obstacles within an intersection before navigating through that intersection. Simply installing mirrors to help eliminate blind intersections can lower the risk of forklift-related injuries inside your warehouse.
3. Poor Communication
If the operation of heavy machinery and the moving of large pallets create noise within your warehouse, it can be difficult for a forklift operator to communicate with the workers around him or her. Poor communication can contribute to accidents and injuries, so finding simple ways to help your forklift operators and workers better communicate with one another is essential for warehouse safety.
Train all of your employees on the proper hand signals that should be used to direct a forklift operator, and prominently display images of these signals throughout your warehouse to serve as visual cues reminding your employees of the importance of proper communication.
Addressing forklift-related safety concerns like shared pathways, blind intersections, and poor communication will help you create a safer environment within your warehouse for workers in the future.