A – Z of warehouse and forklift safety (U-Z) The last part of our basic introduction to improving safety in warehouses

Forklift safety is not just for Safetember! Read the last part of our A-Z of safety.

Safetember is the FLTA’s annual month-long fork lift truck safety campaign that runs throughout September, starting on 1st and ending on the 30th. This year, the FLTA is working in close collaboration with the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA). Their 650+ members are collectively responsible for ensuring the safety of tens of thousands of workers who come into contact with forklift trucks during the course of their workday. Because of this, their commitment is crucial to influencing behaviours and attitudes towards lifting equipment.


Read the last part of our A-Z of Safety

U - Unstable loads

These are major causes of accidents – make sure loads are as symmetrical as possible with a low centre of gravity and carried as far back on the forks as possible – or rested on the platform of the truck in the case of sideloader type trucks. The heaviest part of a load should be closest to the forks. According to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), unstable loads are one of the six most common reasons for forklift accidents.

* A forklift driver was lifting a stack of three trailer chassis the load shifted on the forks and struck another employee. The injured employee suffered from four spinal fractures, a broken left scapula, a broken rib and wounds to his head, shoulder, and ankle. (Reported July 2018)

V - Visibility

To ensure clear forward visibility, the load should be short and carried as low to the ground as possible. If the view in front is restricted, the truck should be driven in reverse slowly, except when driving up ramps. The driver should engage the help of a lookout if necessary to point out any obstructions.

* A fatality occurred when a driver was driving forwards with a restricted view rather then reversing. The forklift became destabilised as it drove over a tyre that was not visible to the driver and subsequently tipped over. (reported September 2017).

W - Watch out for overhead obstructions

Lighting, sprinklers, roller shutter doors and overhead power lines can pose hazards. Operators need to be aware of the layout of utilities and keep checking the surroundings to make sure they avoid any contact with these hazards. Striking any of these can lead not only to damage but also to the forklift overturning.

X - Extra vigilance at all times

The warehouse environment can be full of hazards. A combination of narrow aisles, busy intersections, blind spots, forklifts travelling at varied speeds, personnel on foot and the need to keep to busy loading and unloading schedules can be a recipe for danger. There are various campaigns throughout the year run by associations to highlight how safety can be improved, but extra vigilance should be top of the agenda every working day to reduce the risk of . The FLTA provides invaluable advice on keeping the workplace safe.

Y - Your responsibilities to the workforce

A fork lift truck is one of the most useful pieces of workplace equipment but also potentially one of the most dangerous. Management needs to set exemplary standards for adherence to safety regulations and guidelines and to keep up to date with legislation. The HSE’s publication L117 ACoP (Approved Code of Practice) outlines the main issues you need to know to stay within the law and to keep your workforce safe.

Zones - Zones for added safety

Electronic zones can be created around, for example, accident prone areas or around moving forklifts to prevent vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-person collisions. With ELOKON’s ELOshield product these zones can be flexibly programmed vehicle by vehicle, based on operating requirements, as circles, symmetrical rectangles, or asymmetrical polygons.