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Forklifts are highly useful and often indispensable equipment in the workplace. However, safety is a predominant factor that must not be ignored when operating such machinery. Pedestrians and forklift operators are equally responsible for ensuring safety in the workplace when it comes to powered industrial machinery. There are various factors and problems to think about to ensure that everyone stays safe. Here is a list of five prominent hazards associated with forklift operation in the workplace. 


A forklift does not move in the exact method than a vehicle does. Rear-end steering results in a tight turn radius for the anterior of the forklift, however the rear end of the truck also swings wide during a turn. Pedestrians or anyone fulfilling the role as a spotter to assist the forklift driver with manoeuvringmust know and permit ample clearance surrounding the truck when it’s moving. 

Blind Spots

The load that is being transported on the forklift can generate blind spots that block the view of the operator. The forklift is typically operated in reverse to assist the driver with having a better view of the area, therefore an operator has to be comfortable with operating the controls in order to drive in reverse. Pedestrians must always remain clear free of the operator’s blind spots. It is compulsory for operators to have forklift licence training to ensure workplace safety.

Stability Of The Load

Trucks or forklifts with their loads might become unstable if they are driving on inclines, rough terrain or on oily or wet surfaces. Trucks with loads can also become less stable when they make fast turns and if the load is in an elevated position. The size and weight of loads directly impact the stability of the forklift. Pedestrians and spotters alike must always be vigilant of the higher instability risk of a forklift with an elevated load and steer clear from the area where the load could potentially fall during pick-ups or placement activities.

Recharging And Refuelling

Recharging and refuelling activities of a forklift can be especially hazardous. Diesel and propane pose a fire hazard which are palpable, however battery recharging activities can create flammable hydrogen gas which is another hazard that some people might not be aware of. Avoid smoking close to where the forklift is being recharged or refuelled. 


The speed and weight of the forklift give momentum. Due to such heavy loads being transported by a forklift, it makes sense that forklifts are weighing more than cars. Forklifts that operate at low speeds can inflict the same amount of damage than a vehicle that is driving at fifteen miles an hour. Forklift operators must abide by speed limits; however, pedestrians must also stay within the designated pedestrian areas. Forklifts will slow down and sound their horns at intersections, but it’s the responsibility of pedestrians to also be watchful for forklift traffic. It is always good practice for both the truck operator and pedestrian to make eye contact and make sure it is safe for a pedestrian to cross safely.