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Training, Communication Helps Prevent Pedestrian-Forklift Accidents

by Cesar Perez on 09/28/2012

Thousands of pedestrian workers in Texas every year are injured or killed in accidents that involve forklifts.  These accidents are entirely preventable, and a combination of training of pedestrian workers/forklift operators and stronger communication between workers and operators, can help reduce accident risks.

There are a number of ways that pedestrian workers can be injured in forklift accidents.  A pedestrian worker can be run over by a forklift, suffering devastating injuries, and even fatalities.  A worker may also be at risk of injury from loads falling off the forklift.  A forklift that tips over can crush both the forklift operator as well as pedestrian workers under it, resulting in serious crushing injuries, or amputations.

Texas work injury lawyers find that training of pedestrian workers and forklift operators about the right ways to perform their duties is key in preventing these accidents.  If possible, the area where the forklift activity is being conducted should be cordoned off, and pedestrian workers must be clearly trained about avoiding such areas. 

Workers must be trained to look out for forklifts, and especially look out for the noise that forklifts make.  Many forklifts do not make noise even when they are in operation, and pedestrian workers need to be able to identify when a forklift is nearby.  Workers also must be trained to avoid walking under a suspended load.

Communication between operators and pedestrian workers is of paramount importance.  If a forklift operator notices a worker in his path, he must shout, gesture, make hand signals, and do everything possible to attract the worker’s attention.  Many forklifts are also equipped with alarm systems that help alert workers to the presence of the forklift. These must be used to warn workers and avert these preventable accidents. 

Tags: Industrial Vehicle Accidents, Workplace Injury

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