Forklift Safety: 7 Ways To Protect Your Warehouse

forklift safety

We don’t start our morning expecting this will be the day that we’ll cause catastrophic damage to the workplace. Yet, it can still happen when we’re not careful.

We’ve all seen the Youtube videos showing fail after fail (if you haven’t, then check out these forklift fails). The driver doesn’t even have to do something crazy. A simple nick at the wrong place on a pallet racking system can cause the whole warehouse to come tumbling down like dominos.

There are ways to prevent forklift accidents from happening. But should you rely on your operators to perform perfectly at every turn? Even the best forklift operators make mistakes.

There are many options that you can use to protect your warehouse. Here are 7 solutions to protect the important areas in your facility.

Protect Your People from Forklifts

The most important asset in your building is your people. Racks can be rebuilt, and material can be replaced, but people can’t.

Visual barriers like painted walkways are helpful but cannot protect a worker from a faulty machine or miscalculated maneuver. Here are two options to use to protect your workers from forklift accidents.

Safety Bollards

safety bollards

Bollards are vertical and sturdy posts that stand by themselves. They are the right tool when you want to prevent vehicular access while allowing for freedom of movement for your workers. You can put a few of these in between racks that you don’t want forklift operators using for shortcuts. They also work well in front of office doors that are near forklift traffic.

Safety Impact Barriers

safety impact barriers

Impact barriers are heavy duty guardrails that can withstand the impact of a vehicle. Use these when you want to prevent your workers from entering the zone where your vehicle traffic exist. I would use these when your workers are walking a lane that is parallel to your forklift traffic and have no need to leave that lane. These are also good for creating a safe working zone, like near electrical units or other machinery. Some impact barriers, like the ones we offer, can come with the ability to remove rails if you need to allow forklift access in those areas. This might happen when you need to replace the protected machinery.

Protect Your Pallet Rack Systems

One of the craziest videos I’ve seen is when an entire warehouse collapsed because of a seemingly small nick from a forklift. People on the other side of the warehouse are suddenly at risk because of an incident that they could have knowledge of. Here are two ways to prevent something like this from happening in your warehouse.

Pallet Rack Guards

pallet rack guards

Pallet rack guards are a vertical, concave-shaped barrier that also uses a section of protective angle iron on the ground to protect the end of a racking system. It is recommended to use these on any end of a pallet rack that is exposed to vehicular traffic.

Upright Protector Rack Guards

upright post protector for racks

Upright protector rack guards are very similar to pallet rack guards, except that they don’t have the angle iron on the ground. This allows you to place these along the length of your pallet racking systems without blocking access to the ground level of your pallet racks. These protect the supporting structures that are mounted to the warehouse floor.

Protect Your Building from Forklift Damage

Damage to your facility can also have severe consequences that can cause work to shut down due to power loss or prevent access to your building altogether. Here are 3 ways that you can protect your building from forklift damage.

Column Guards

column guard for structural warehouse columns

Column guards are upright barriers that are designed to encircle a structural post. Structural columns, whether they are made from steel or concrete, can sustain some intense impacts. However, we may not know how much damage could have been caused by such an impact until it’s too late. Don’t take the chance and use barriers like the column guard to protect your structural integrity.

Trak-Shield Door Guards

warehouse door guards

Trak-Shield door guards are vertical barriers designed to wrap around your overhead door tracks at the ground level. This will prevent impacts from forklifts from damaging door operation.

Pipe Shield

pipe guard

Pipe shield is a vertical barrier that mounts next to the wall to prevent damage to your plumbing, mechanical, and electrical equipment. Use these anywhere you have pipes or conduit to mounted columns or walls. You don’t want your power to shut down or water to spray all over the work zone like a fire hydrant.

Wrapping Up

We can’t prevent every accident from happening, no matter how strong our training program is. However, we can mitigate the effect of those accidents by installing safety barriers at key locations in the work area.

If you want help designing the right solution or want a custom quote, then please contact one of our safety specialists today.

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