Lift truck accidents: prevention is better than cure
An accident with a lift truck? It happens faster than we think. The most important causes are inappropriate driving behaviour on a wet, concrete floor and not observing a minimum safe distance from another lift truck. However, these two situations are easy to avoid. A good awareness campaign for the lift truck drivers and the other warehouse employees is definitely a step in the right direction.
Driving behaviour on a wet, concrete floor
The braking distance of a lift truck on a wet floor is longer than on a dry floor. Lift truck drivers and warehouse employees often misjudge this distance, which can lead to a collision. The main risk lies in stopping or accelerating abruptly and when turning with wet tyres or on a wet floor. These situations can best be avoided. The focus of an awareness campaign should therefore lie on adjusting the speed of the lift truck, and if possible avoiding wet spots. What do you think of our awareness posters? Feel free to use them!
Maintaining a safe distance from lift trucks
In case of accidents with a lift truck, we often point a finger at the lift truck drivers, but also the employees situated in the vicinity of this driving equipment bear a large responsibility. A little inattention can have big consequences. Some tips for the pedestrians and drivers:
- Remain on the footpaths, because that is where the lift truck driver expects you to be
- If you are forced to leave the footpaths, maintain a safe distance from the lift truck
- Make sure you are visible by wearing high-visibility protective clothing
- Maintain eye contact with the drivers
- If you have to speak to the driver, ask him to set the machine in neutral and to apply the handbrake
- Don't hand over documents/shake hands while the driver is seated on the machine
Lift truck drivers
- Maintain a minimum safe distance from pedestrians, approximately 2 metres is recommended
- Don't remove any pallets from racks where a pedestrian walks nearby. As a driver you have a safety function and you remain responsible for all persons and their actions around your vehicle
- Make eye contact with the pedestrians
- Sound the horn when arriving at a gate or in case of an obscured situation, or use spotlights
- Having a conversation with or shaking hands with a pedestrian while the driver is situated on a machine is not allowed, the driver must exit his lift truck to consult or to hand over papers
We even created an awareness poster about this situation. You can download this poster and use it in your warehouse, same as the poster about a wet, concrete floor mentioned above.
Femke, TVH Blogger