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Safety Drive 2021

Week 5 – Driver & Pedestrian Safety

The safety of all individuals in the workplace should be the priority of all companies. However, those with material handling equipment have increased risk factors and the consequences of an incident can be severe or even deadly.

This week we look at the key areas for protecting drivers and pedestrians from collision and injury.


The vast majority of fatalities and serious injuries caused by impact with pedestrians are wholly avoidable by traffic route demarcation, physical barriers and other simple measures.

  • Assess the risks and manage worksite traffic
  • Keep pedestrians and vehicles apart
  • Physical barriers are better than safety distances
  • Utilize assistance systems


  • PPE, such as hi viz jackets, is not a substitute for ensuring adequate separation between pedestrians and workplace transport. However, colour coded hi viz can provide a useful identification that visitors are in the vicinity.

Warning Signage

  • All hazardous areas must have adequate signage explaining what the potential hazards are, what PPE is required, and which areas vehicles or pedestrians must not enter.

Designated Zones

  • Safe pedestrian routes should not only be separated with barriers but also be clearly marked on the floor, at entrances and exits, and along the whole route.
  • Traffic routes must keep vehicles away from doors or gates that pedestrians use, and from the pedestrian routes that lead to them.
  • Crossing points should be clearly identified and provide good visibility to both vehicle operators and pedestrians.
  • Crossing points should be well lit and, except for emergency exits, should not be aligned with entrances.


  • Where it is unavoidable that co-workers will be in proximity to Materials Handling equipment written plans are required.
  • The plan must be prepared by a suitably qualified person, skilled with the necessary knowledge, training, and expertise.
  • The plan should address all foreseeable risks likely to be involved in the work and identify any appropriate assets (including people) and mitigations which are necessary for the job to be completed safely.

Visitor Supervision

  • Visitors must be made aware of safety guidelines before entering the site and supplied with the appropriate PPE.
  • Delivery drivers should not stand on their truck’s trailer or be able to approach MHE during unloading operations.


  • Failure to use a restraint such as a seat belt or a lap bar can result in the operator being crushed by the protective cage in the event of an overturn.
  • Hi-viz seatbelts provide visibility that the belt is being worn.
  • An interlocking seatbelt system paralyses the vehicle until the belt is fastened preventing the driver from putting themselves at risk.
  • Truck’s datalogging and telematics systems can provide information to management on seatbelt use.
  • Managers and supervisors are legally responsible for ensuring that company seatbelt policy is understood and enforced.

Impact Sensors

  • Impact sensors record the reaction of the vehicle to shocks due to collision. Analysing the data collected can be used as a tool to minimise further incidents.
  • They react to impact setting off an acoustic and visual warning, alerting the driver and others that damage may have been sustained either to the truck or the building infrastructure, e.g. racking.
  • The truck automatically shuts down preventing further damage or injury and can only be restarted using a key or control unit.

Weight Limiters

  • All forklifts are supplied with a rating label showing the capacity at a given load centre and fork height. Integrated weighing systems prevent operation outside the design envelope.

Zoning Systems

  • Zoning systems provide speed limiting solutions in designated high risk areas such as. pedestrian crossings.
  • Adaptable to site layout changes so no need to replace if zones change.

Auto Slowdown

  • An auto slowdown system automatically adjusts the truck speed when cornering, depending on load and steering angle: the heavier the load, the slower the truck‘s cornering speed.
  • Significantly decreases the risk of overturning or slipping.

Object Detection Systems

  • Provide a proximity warning to the truck operator, pedestrian, or both.If a person is detected in the danger zone, the system sets off an optical and acoustic alarm giving the driver time to react and avoid an accident.
  • More sophisticated models offer automatic brake intervention, eliminating collision.

Collision Warning Systems

  • These can be mounted at critical locations across the site and provide an audible and/or visual warning if two targets are simultaneously in or approaching the hazard area.

Safety Lamps

  • These project warning symbols or mark a specified distance from the vehicle and are widely available and can be easily retrofitted.

When it comes to protecting people there is no such thing as too much safety.

A full Traffic Management system should be in place for all sites where MHE is operating in the vicinity of pedestrians and co-workers. This will regulate the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians through and around the workplace.

For more information on driver and pedestrian safety and a free downloadable ebook visit https://nationalforkliftsafetyday.co.uk/2020-pedestrian-impact/

Safety Drive Week 5 Sponsors

We’d like to thank all of our sponsors so far for their commitment to safety and assistance in this campaign. To sponsor this event please click here to find details.

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