How can I avoid being injured by a lift truck as a pedestrian?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), pedestrian safety is of great concern, especially around power industry trucks such as ones with any type of lifts on them. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), pedestrians being struck by truck lifts account for an overwhelming majority of work-related accidents in the United States.

The drivers of these types of trucks are taught that clearly designating areas that a pedestrian may want to avoid when moving around this type vehicle is one way to avoid causing his or her injury or death. Avoiding distractions, such as cellphone usage, can ensure that the lift operator's attention is fully placed on avoiding an accident as well.

OSHA recommends that both lift and forklift operators have licenses to operate them and that they move particularly slowly, especially around pedestrians. They note that it's important for them to use their lights, back-up alert system and horns around them also. Whenever possible, it's advised that mirrors are installed to allow lift operators an option for seeing under platforms and in other blind spots.

In order to help prevent their own injury, OSHA recommends that pedestrians abstain from walking nearby forklifts or lifts altogether. They warn that oftentimes, loads carried on them tip over, something that can result in catastrophic injuries for pedestrians struck by them.

OSHA recommends avoiding ever walking under a lift platform and, when one's down on the ground, that pedestrians recognize that they're at an elevation. It's often because they don't realize this that lift platforms become tripping hazards.

Avoiding standing in the path of a lift truck will ensure that you don't get pinned against a wall or dock as it backs up. Steering clear of designated lanes or areas where either a forklift or lift is being operated will likely keep you out of harm's way as well.

Lift trucks are used for delivering products to stores at all times of the day. If you've been struck and injured by one as you were walking around, then a Vista, California, attorney may advise you of your right to file an injury lawsuit in your case.

Source: National Safety Council, "Fact sheet no. 1: Ensuring pedestrian safety around power industrial trucks," accessed Jan. 05, 2018

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