A blind spot is a physical phenomena experienced by all drivers on a daily basis. These blind spots are responsible for thousands of accidents, and are particularly dangerous for industrial vehicles such as forklifts and reach stackers. No matter how experienced and proficient the driver is, there is always a blind spot that goes undetected by the forklift drivers. Unfavourable conditions such as noise pollution, poor lighting, and bad weather can increase the risk of forklift blind spot accidents significantly. Naturally, for any forklift driver, dealing with blind spots is one of the most critical challenges.
Luckily, however, it is possible for the forklift drivers to avoid bind spot related mishaps by taking a common sense approach. The risk of accidents can also be minimised by using advanced blind spot detection systems.
Mentioned below are some simple ways to reduce the likelihood of forklift blind spot accidents in your warehouse.
- The buddy system is a proven solution for avoiding forklift accidents caused by blind spots. Using a buddy while passing through a blind spot helps alert the pedestrians and guide the drivers through these tight spots. Therefore, having a co-worker around can provide optimal blind spot safety for the drivers.
- Forklift blind spots are particularly dangerous to pedestrians. This risk increases significantly while travelling at a faster speed. On the other hand, the blind spots can be reduced by reducing the speed of the forklift. Proceeding slowly and using the horn well in advance is an important safety precaution.
- More than 50% of forklift related accidents take place while the trucks are reversing. Keeping the workplace well-lit can help protect pedestrians from these accidents. It also makes sense to route forklifts away from areas that are frequented by pedestrians.
- The probability of forklift blind spot accidents increases near intersections, while passing other forklifts. These intersections may include transition areas between cargo storage and docks, aisle cross-overs, and other high-traffic areas in the warehouse. All workers should be well aware of the danger posed by these intersections and take measures to remain safe while working in these areas.
- Blind spot safety is all about looking for objects and areas that are just beyond the forklift drivers’peripheral vision. Interestingly, blind spots can also be created by sudden and rapid changes in light conditions. For example, blind spots may be created while coming out of a dark warehouse into strong sunlight or going from a well-lit environment into a dark store room. Therefore, workplaces that are prone to drastic changes in lighting conditions should install signs at strategic locations to warn forklift drivers.
- Use of safety mirrors is another forklift blind spot safety measure, but it is not a substitute for traditional methods such as buddy system. Along with horns and spotters, these mirrors can boost safety by providing added visibility to drivers.
Finally, one of the most advanced and effective ways to deal with forklift blind spots is to use blind spot systems. At ShockWatch, we offer a highly sophisticated solution that minimises collision risks in poor visibility areas, and can be used in a wide range of blind spot situations.