Forklift safety practices vary, survey finds

Limb, pedestrian, and other worker injuries seem to be the most common safety problem associated with lift trucks, found a recently completed a survey on lift truck safety by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW).

To help prevent these injuries, 46% of respondents said they use deadman switches (a feature that prevents rider-less runaway vehicles), 25% use barriers, and 14% use light curtains.

Asked if they have a policy on the direction in which lift trucks should be operated, 10% of those replying to the survey said their policy is forks-first, 21% have a forks-trailing policy, and 69% of respondents use both approaches.

Survey results revealed that lift truck training varies widely. Some 38% of respondents provide three hours of training or less on each different piece of equipment, while 28% provide 13 hours or more of similar training.

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