This Hazard Alert describes the danger of injury during forklift use and steps to reduce associated risks.
What is the hazard?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there are approximately 85 fatalities and 34,900 serious injuries due to forklift use annually1, and $135 million in immediate costs are incurred.2 Between the years 2015-2016, 4 pedestrian workers were killed in forklift-related incidents in Kentucky.
Examples of pedestrian– related forklift fatalities that occurred in Kentucky include:
Case 1: A 17-year-old employee (the victim) was riding on the side of a single-occupant rough-terrain forklift, driven by a 19-year-old coworker. Intending to open a nearby gate, the victim jumped from the forklift before it was fully stopped. The rear tire caught his foot, fatally rolling over his torso.
Case 2: A forklift operator was moving a load, while the victim, on foot, was standing next to a dumpster. The forklift accelerated in reverse, striking a door frame, and pinning the victim between the forklift and dumpster.
Case 3: The victim was working on the hydraulic system of a forklift, standing beneath the forks, when the carriage fell on him.
- Designate separate paths for pedestrian and forklift travel.
- Restrict pedestrian activity in forklift operating areas.
- Provide pedestrian safety training to all employees who may be exposed to forklifts and other vehicles.
- Ensure all forklift operators are trained and certified, per CFR 1910.178(l).
- Limit travel speed.
- Slow down, stop, and sound horn when approaching a corner, intersection, or anywhere that vision may be obstructed.
- Never allow a passenger on the forklift unless the forklift is designed to accommodate passengers.
- Do not place any body parts beneath the load or mast.
- Maintain a safe distance from forklifts.
- Always ensure the operator is aware of your position; make eye contact when possible.
- Exercise caution when walking near corners and intersections.
- Never enter pedestrianrestricted zones.
- Wear high-visibility clothing.
- Never walk under raised forks.
Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) - Inspections—eTool
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
|29 CFR 1910.178(g)(7) requires that all forklifts be inspected daily before being operated. This OSHA eTool provides requirements and best practices for such an inspection.||https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/ pit/operations/ servicing.html#preoperation|
Case Report: Teen Laborer Rides on Side of Forklift, Falls While Jumping, and is Run Over by Rear Tire
KY FACE Program
|Full occupational fatality investigation report for Case 1.||http://www.mc.uky.edu/kiprc/face/ reports/pdf/15KY067.pdf|
Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Workers Who Operate or Work Near Forklifts
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
|Safety resource provided by NIOSH addressing forklift pedestrian and driver safety.||https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ docs/2001-109/default.html|
Forklift Toolbox Talk
Center for Construction Research and Training
|A toolbox talk worksheet to provide to employees.||https://www.cpwr.com/sites/default/ files/publications/ CPWR_Forklift_0.pdf|
FACE Program, September 2017
Kentucky FACE Program
333 Waller Avenue Suite 242
Lexington, KY 40504
Toll Free: 800-204-3223 | Local: 859-257-5839
Produced by the Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program, Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
This project was funded by grant 2U60OH008483-13 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
1Proposed Rules—Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training. OSHA.
2Towards Improved Forklift Safety. National Institute of Standards and Technology.
FACE on Social Media: