Australia has a high number of casualties due to activities involving forklifts each year. Workers can be crushed or hit by moving forklifts, injured by loads being moved, or severely injured if a forklift is tipped over. These types of accidents are avoidable when forklift safety and training are taken seriously.
Driving a forklift is not an easy job and drivers need to have adequate training and education. A busy workplace can be a challenging environment to work in, so every precaution must be taken to protect the forklift driver, other vehicles and drivers, and all pedestrian traffic.
What challenges do forklift drivers face?
- The forklift itself is generally heavy, and loads can be cumbersome and awkward.
- The structure of the forklift carriage, chains and large loads can cause blind spots in the operator’s line of sight, sometimes partially if not totally obstructing vision to the front or side of the vehicle.
- Operators are often moving large loads in reverse.
- Other approaching vehicles and pedestrian traffic may not be heard in a noisy workplace environment.
Traditional forklift warning systems use shrill whistles or alarms to attract attention. In an already noisy environment, some drivers have been known to turn them off to avoid extra noise. In doing so they increase the chance of an accident.
The Linde BlueSpot™ warning system
The Linde BlueSpot™ Warning System (also available as RedSpot™ ) is innovate, soundless, and really works! It is an extremely effective way to minimise the risk of forklift accidents in the workplace environment. In fact, it’s a perfect example of how the simplest measures are often the most powerful: two blue LED lights mounted to the roof of the forklift project onto the ground ahead in the direction of travel, warning pedestrians and other traffic in the vehicle’s approach. The light can be set to shine constantly or flash, which significantly increases safety in high danger areas such as doorways, isle crossings and blind corners, where more than one vehicle may be operating.
The BlueSpot™ system can be retro-fitted to trucks without requiring any extra infrastructure. The lights are energy-efficient, and their LED technology is not affected by shock or vibration. They are waterproof, dust-proof and guaranteed to provide a long service life.
Installing and using the appropriate safety devices on forklifts can increase employee satisfaction, decrease down-time due to injury, and improve productivity and workflow.