According to a report published by OSHA, in 2015 there were approximately 96,785 incidents related to powered industrial trucks. With approximately 855,900 lifts in the US, roughly 1 in 10 forklifts were involved in an accident. Since these are common devices used in nearly all industries, any safety improvement would certainly be welcome.
While walking through a large warehouse recently, I saw this blue light shining on the floor, moving out from an aisle way. The light was mounted to a forklift and was shining perhaps 15 feet in front of the lift. I thought to myself “WOW, here is something that I haven’t seen before and what a great warning device for pedestrians or other vehicular traffic in tight areas!”
After a little research, I discovered these lights have been available in the United States since 2013. Several manufacturers offer these lights in various colors, configurations, and mounting options for all types of powered industrial trucks.
Here is a photo demonstrating the light in action:
They can also be used as a warning light to represent a “do not enter area.”
Many manufacturers and retailers offer these devices and the price has been dropping as product usage increases. Check out these products available from Forklift Safety Solutions, Forklift Training Systems, and Global Industrial. Naturally, the cost of these safety improvements is minimal compared to the cost of an injury related to fork lift use.
I thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on this subject! Clearly there is no substitute for proper forklift operator training, equipment maintenance policies and procedures, and bystander awareness training.
However, just like standard PPE, warning signs, and other safety equipment, devices like these may improve overall safety awareness and reduce the odds of a catastrophic injury.