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Forklift safety: Accessories that prevent major accidents
Reading Time: 7 minutes 19 seconds
Studies show that more than 70% of forklift accidents can be prevented by using standard safety measures, including forklift safety accessories. This article discusses the most common accessories necessary for forklift safety.
Table of Contents
To put it bluntly, a forklift is a moving body of disaster, waiting to occur at your slightest indiscretion. Hundreds of fatalities and several thousands of serious injuries occur every year due to forklift accidents. Studies showed that over 70% of forklift accidents can be averted by simply following basic safety tips and installing some basic forklift accessories. We will discuss some of the basic forklift accessories and forklift safety tips in the next sections.
Collision avoidance system
These safety devices sense nearby moving pedestrians and other lift trucks. Some system only shows warning light and sounds alarm if it approaches a moving person or another forklift. Some advanced systems also control the forklift governor and decrease speed automatically when necessary.
Backup alarm system
A backup alarm is a simple but very effective safety solution. Every time your forklift is in reverse gear, this will sound an alarm. This lets the nearby pedestrians know that a forklift is in reverse gear and that they should be careful.
There are other advanced versions of backup alarms where the alarm sounds only when an object or person is in its path. As there is no constant alarm, operators and pedestrians do not get used to it. As a result, when the alarm sounds, everyone is alerted.
Forklift safety lights
Safety light is another effective safety measure for forklifts. Usually, there are two types of safety lights seen on a forklift.
Usually, blue spotlights are projected on 5-10 feet in the front and/or rear of a forklift. This light mainly warns pedestrians of an approaching forklift. The light is mounted on the overhead guard.
Red warning lights create visible lines and square shapes on the floor around the vehicle. These lights mark the safe distance around the forklift where pedestrians can stand. This helps them be aware of the turning radius and avoid rear-end swings.
Guidance lasers can be used in two ways. In most cases, forklifts operate in narrow isles. It gets particularly difficult when maneuvering in the narrow isles with stacked pallets obstructing vision. Having guiding lasers helps a lot in these situations to maneuver safely with any accident.
Guidance lasers can also give a visual reference to the operator while loading pallets. This reduces the risk of damaging goods with the forks.
Strobe lights are quite an effective safety measure. While a steady light source like blue light can create some situational awareness, everyone gets used to it eventually. However, a strobe light gets your attention much more effectively by varying light intensity. They are placed at eye level where everyone can see it.
Blindspot cameras are very effective for operating forklifts with odd dimensions. Even with a regular forklift, driving around with a loaded fork can create a lot of blind spots. Also, loading pallets on the fork itself is a pretty difficult task without having a clear line of sight. A blindspot camera can solve all these issues easily. Most of these cameras are installed at the fork level, which helps both driving and material handling.
Mirrors can be a much more economical alternative to cameras to handle blindspots. There are rear-view, side-view, and loading or front-view mirrors covering different angles. While rear- and side-view mirrors are pretty standard, front-view mirrors are quite clever. These mirrors can help you see the front of your forklift even when loaded pallets obstruct the view.
Since forklifts usually operate at a much slower speed than a car, many operators ignore the necessity of a seatbelt. However, there can be a lot of scenarios where a forklift seatbelt will prevent you from a major injury. Forklifts can and do lose balance, tilt, and even tip over due to various unexpected reasons. In such a scenario, wearing a seatbelt will prevent the operator from being catapulted from the forklift cabin.
Here is a great demonstration of why forklift seatbelts are necessary:
Most environments where forklifts operate are very busy and crowded with workers and other forklifts. Sometimes it becomes difficult to notice everything around you. Wearing a reflective safety vest at least helps others notice you even when you aren't looking.
Ergonomic forklift seat
This particular element is ignored very often when we think about forklift safety. A lot of time, forklift operators spend hours at a stretch inside the forklift cabin. An uncomfortable seat not only creates risk for musculoskeletal issues but also diverts operator attention. The latter is one of the major reasons for forklift accidents. While most OEM seats are quite good, you can always upgrade to aftermarket ergonomic seats. Ergonomic seats have better lumbar support, which helps the operator sit comfortably throughout the shift.
Are you looking to replace your worn-out old forklift chair? If you want to upgrade your OEM seat to an ergonomic aftermarket seat, please visit Lift Parts Warehouse. We sell comfortable and ergonomic worker chairs for your forklift at great prices.
They are the simplest safety solution for forklifts. These illuminating safety and warning signs are hard to miss. The areas frequented by forklifts can utilize these signs. Workers and pedestrians will take notice of them and increase their situational awareness.
Forklift backup handle with horn
Forklift backup handles are less known safety accessories but quite useful. When operators reverse their forklift, they tend to grab onto the overhead guard for balance. This exposes their hand outside and sometimes leads to a serious hand injury. Also, while reversing, operators need to remove their hands from the steering wheel to sound the horn. This can also lead to an accident. A backup handle with a horn solves both of these issues.
An operator can grab onto the handle while keeping his hand inside during reversing. He can also use the horn button on the handle. In this way, he can keep his hand on the steering wheel while sounding the horn.
Most forklift safety accessories are not very costly. Equipping your forklift with simple accessories, like forklift safety lights or mirrors, saves lives, money, and resources by averting accidents. While some accessories like an advanced warning and blindspot camera systems can be a bit expensive, they always have much cheaper alternatives.
At Lift Parts Warehouse, we offer all necessary forklift safety accessories at one of the lowest prices in the industry. Browse our safety accessories or email us with your specific requirement, and we will reach out to you promptly.