Fork Lift Association & Thorough Examination

3 Ways to Make Your Warehouse Safe for Forklift Use

With goods being delivered, goods being loaded, pallets stacked high, sometimes with toxic or flammable chemicals or dangerous machinery, warehouses can be extremely dangerous places, at the best of times.

Now add a forklift or fleet of forklifts to the mix, and the potential dangers increase considerably, especially if basic safety practices aren’t taken into consideration, or treated with the seriousness they deserve.

In this short article, we’ve put together a list of 3 ways to utilize warehouse design elements to help make your warehouse safer for forklift use, and for pedestrians, whether visitors or warehouse operatives.

We hope you find the article helpful, and if you need further information, or you’re looking to buy a new forklift or used forklift, or you’re looking for a forklift servicing specialist, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  1. Manage Traffic

    In the same way any location dependent on the movement of traffic throughout requires safe and sensible management, your warehouse, when incorporating forklifts, must be designed to suit.

    This can be done in several ways, including:

    • Installing a warehouse line marking layout: The line marking layout could include forklift and pedestrian-only lanes, arrows to define one-way systems, hatched areas to clearly show forklift working areas, and could also include specific graphics to enhance clarity.

    • Clear signage: In addition to a line marking layout, it’s also vital to include clear signage, strategically positioned, and at the correct height for forklift operators to see and react to. Signage should make drivers aware of things such as:

      • Speed limits

      • Exclusion areas

      • Blind corners

      • Steep gradients

      • Pedestrian-only areas

    • Strategically placed bollards: Professionally installed, and strategically placed bollards designed to withstand vehicular impact, are a great way to guide forklifts and create a safer exclusion zone for pedestrians.

  2. Reduce blind spots

    To maintain safety in a warehouse when using a forklift or using multiple forklifts, it’s vital that blind spots are minimised, so that operators have a clear view of potential dangers, at all stages of each manoeuvre.

    Two of the most effective ways to reduce blind spots are:

    • Use overhead dome mirrors: This type of mirror, located at hidden corners, or above loading bays etc., give both the forklift operator and pedestrians the ability to check in all directions prior to taking an action.

    • Increase planning for excess inventory: In most warehouses, there will be times when loads are bigger and require larger or more stacks or pallets etc. To aid forklift safety and reduce temporary blind spots during these times, it’s important to plan ahead, so that forklift operators know where to stack and how high, in a way that doesn’t compromise safety.

  3. Think about aisle width

    It stands to reason that aisle width must be considered when operating a forklift in a warehouse. But, if the warehouse wasn’t originally designed with a forklift in mind, a redesign will be in order.

    The main consideration around aisle width is to ensure the forklift can turn fully without hitting a shelf or having to carry out dangerous manoeuvres. To determine a safe aisle width, measure using the following system:

    Measure from the back of the truck to the load backrest, (where the pallet would naturally rest), then measure from the load backrest to the front of the fork, adding around 18” to allow for manoeuvring space and additional overhang. Add the measurements together to determine aisle width.

Contact Us

If you’re looking to buy a new forklift or used forklift, contact Beds & Bucks Forktrucks Ltd today. We’re a leading forklift provider, specialising in the sale, hire, and servicing of Hyster, Aisle-Master, Combilift, and a variety of other top brand forklifts, to customers throughout Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and beyond.

Forklift in warehouse