There is a lot of movement in a functioning warehouse, and if you work in one, it’s essential to be aware of the risks. Warehouse workers have a higher injury rate than those in any other industry, and one of the biggest risks is vehicles injuring pedestrians.
Even if your role requires you to spend most of the day driving a machine, you will be a pedestrian at some point, so everyone is at risk if an employer does not do enough to protect people on foot from vehicles.
Vehicles can injure pedestrians in many ways, including running them over, crushing them, knocking them off something, spearing them with a fork, dropping something from the forks onto them or causing something to fall from a shelf onto them.
Employers must ensure forklift drivers have adequate training and are fit to operate the machine before they take the keys each day.
Safe walkways and no-go areas
Employers should mark out safe pathways for pedestrians to walk and have systems in place to isolate areas and prevent pedestrian entry where a forklift is working on a hazardous task. For example, pedestrians should not be allowed to walk close to the shelving that a forklift is working on, as an error could cause something to fall and crush them. They should not be allowed down in a loading bay when trucks are entering, as the vehicle could crush them as it reverses.
Even if an employer does all they should to protect pedestrians, accidents can still occur. Fortunately, workers’ compensation does not require you to prove fault, but if injured, you may want legal help to claim it.