Forklift Safety for Drivers and Pedestrians

Brought to you by the UFCW Local 75 Health & Safety Department

To download the brochure, click here.

Your Rights and Your Employer’s Responsibilities Under OSHA

OSHA’s general duty clause gives you the right to be safe at your work place and states that your employer has the responsibility to provide a safe environment for you to work in.
You have the right to be trained on safety and health risks at your job.
With regard to forklifts, this means being trained on more than how to operate the machine; it means that the company must make you aware of signage for blind corners, their policy on sounding horns, and when, where, and how to operate the tow-motor in a work environment to keep yourself and your co-workers safe.


For Pedestrians
Forklift accidents usually happen for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Pedestrian didn’t see the truck.
  • Pedestrian didn’t hear the truck.
  • Pedestrian came too close to the truck.

These guidelines can help keep you safe when walking in an environment where forklifts are present.

  • Keep a safe distance from the forklift whenever possible.
  • Don’t rely on your ears; some forklifts are extremely quiet.
  • Always let the driver know you are in the area. Attempt to make eye contact with the driver to ensure they have seen you.
  • Be cautious near blind corners, doorways, and narrow aisles.
  • Always use marked pedestrian lanes when available.
  • Wear high-visibility clothing.
  • Do not walk near or under raised forks.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who has the right of way. What matters is that we all go home safely.

For Forklift Drivers

  • Do not use pallets elevated by forklifts as improvised working platforms.
  • Do not elevate anyone on forks unless in approved man-cage secured to forklift.
  • Use mirrors, sound horn, and slow down when approaching pedestrians, blind/hazardous passageways, and work areas.
  • When forks are empty, mast should be tilted back to prevent tips of forks from contacting ground or other obstacles.
  • Calibrate your speed to the surface being driven on, your load, and workplace conditions.
  • Do not start, stop, turn, or change direction suddenly or at full speed.
  • Remain in the forklift. Never climb on industrial machinery.
  • Do not try to move or adjust any part of the load or machine while on the forklift. Keep your arms and legs inside the forklift.
  • Do not climb between mast and load or between mast and machine.

The UFCW Local 75 Health & Safety Department

The goal of UFCW Local 75’s Health and Safety Department is to provide workers with the tools they need to address and prevent workplace health and safety hazards. Addressing hazards quickly and appropriately can reduce the number and severity of workplace accidents and illnesses.

Contact Us:

Kelly Winston
Union Representative/ Health & Safety Coordinator
1-800-665-0075 x3017
kelly.winston@ufcw75.org

Scott Kesler
Union Representative/ Health & Safety Coordinator
1-800-665-0075 x1124
scott.kesler@ufcw75.org

877-665-0075
www.ufcw75.org
facebook.com/ufcw75
@UFCW75

Preventing Workplace Violence

To download the brochure, click here.

What You Need to Know:

Workplace violence is an extensive problem that effects all forms of work places. In incidents of nonfatal assaults and violent acts by industry, Nursing and Personal Care facilities ranked as THE highest. With many UFCW members working in these facilities it is important to be aware of some statistics and information you may want to use in coordination with your Union and Employer to help prevent these circumstances.

REMEMBER! You have the RIGHT to a safe and harassment free work place.

Employers who would like help in implementing an appropriate workplace violence prevention program can find examples and help at:
www.osha.gov or call 1-800-321-OSHA

Prevention Program
What Should It Include?

A written program for job safety and security, incorporated into the organization’s overall health and safety program. Also Employer Communication Information about the prevention program and a Start Up Date.

  • Create a zero tolerance policy for workplace violence, verbal and nonverbal threats, and related actions.
  • Ensure that managers, supervisors, coworkers, clients, patients, and visitors know about the policy.
  • Ensure there are no repercussions for reporting workplace violence.
  • Encourage employees to promptly report incidents and suggest ways to reduce risk.
  • Outline a comprehensive plan for maintaining security in the workplace.
  • Assign responsibilities and authorities for individuals or teams with appropriate training.
  • Affirm management commitment to a worker-supportive environment that places as much importance on employee safety as it does client safety.
  • Set up a company briefing as part of the initial effort to address issues. Labor/Management Committees are a good example.

Workplace Violence: Planning Ahead

Health-care and social-service workers face an increased risk of work related assaults due to several factors:

  • Prevalence of handguns and other weapons.
  • Increased usage of hospitals by police and criminal justice system for reviews or holds.
  • Increased number of acute and chronically mentally ill patients being released from care and follow-up visits.
  • Drugs and their availability.
  • Unrestricted movement of the public in clinics and hospitals, along with waiting times that may lead to client frustration.
  • Low staffing levels for the flow of clients.
  • Solo work, often isolated and one-on-one.
  • Lack of staff training on how to recognize and manage escalating hostile and assaultive behavior.

Prevention Plans

A lot of the controls needed for a very successful prevention program need changes to the actual facility. Short of that, there are also ways to create “controls” for yourself to better handle workplace violence and the following can be a lower cost option of training employees:

  • Hazard analysis; recognizing factors that cause irritation that may contribute to violence.
  • Early recognition to prevent an escalation. Warning signs or situations that may lead to it.
  • Ways to prevent or diffuse volatile situations or aggressive behavior, manage anger, and the behavior that will help you recognize an escalation.
  • Ways to deal with hostile people other than the client or patient such as relatives and visitors.
  • Knowing the location and operation of safety devices such as alarms.
  • Policies and procedures of reporting behavior and record keeping of these events.

The UFCW Local 75 Health and Safety Department

The goal of UFCW Local 75’s Health and Safety Department is to provide workers with the tools they need to address and prevent workplace health and safety hazards. Addressing hazards quickly and appropriately can reduce the number and severity of workplace accidents and illnesses.

Contact Us:

Kelly Winston
Union Representative/ Health & Safety Coordinator
1-800-665-0075 x3017
kelly.winston@ufcw75.org

Scott Kesler
Union Representative/ Health & Safety Coordinator
1-800-665-0075 x1124
scott.kesler@ufcw75.org

877-665-0075
www.ufcw75.org
facebook.com/ufcw75
@UFCW75

Controlling Hazardous Energy

To download the brochure, click here.

Hazardous Energy Sources

The tagging portion of LOTO includes the placement of placards that state the present power sources and identify locations to isolate these power sources. Many types of power sources can be hazardous to workers, including:

  • electrical
  • mechanical
  • hydraulic
  • pneumatic
  • chemical
  • thermal

Potential Accidents

The following are examples of accidents that could have been prevented by following proper LOTO procedures:

  • A steam valve is automatically turned on, burning workers who are repairing a downstream connection in the piping.
  • A jammed conveyor system suddenly releases, crushing a worker who is trying to clear the jam. (Source: OSHA)

OSHA Requires Employers To:

  • Develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program and energy control procedures.
  • Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out.
  • Ensure that new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out.
  • Develop, implement, and enforce an effective tagout program if machines or equipment are not capable of being locked out.
  • Use only LOTO devices authorized for the particular equipment or machinery and ensure that they are durable, standardized, and substantial.
  • Ensure that LOTO devices identify the individual users.
  • Establish a policy that permits only the employee who applied a LOTO device to remove it.
  • Inspect energy control procedures at least annually.
  • Provide effective training as mandated for all employees covered by the standard.
  • Comply with the additional energy control provisions in OSHA standards when machines or equipment must be tested or repositioned, when outside contractors work at the site, in group lockout situations, and during shift or personnel changes.

(Source: OSHA)

What is Lockout/Tagout?

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is a set of procedures designed to reduce the risks of injury due to the accidental power up of machinery or the release of hazardous energy during servicing or maintenance. These procedures require authorized employees to disable the equipment being serviced from the power source.
Employers are required to provide LOTO training to authorized and affected employees. Authorized employees are employees who will be doing the locking out to perform services to machinery. Affected employees are employees who will be working in those areas but not necessarily doing the servicing work.
Locks and tags must meet certain criteria. These criteria ensure that the lock or tag cannot be removed without the knowledge of authorized employees. Employees who are issued LOTO equipment must keep their key to their lock and a tag with their name on it.
There are many different circumstances that may alter the LOTO procedures, such as group LOTO, when an outside contractor performs LOTO, or when an employee is not available to remove the lock or tag.
Employers are required to review LOTO procedures at least once per year. As a union, we have fought for many years to keep employees safe, so WE must make sure this happens.
We need to view LOTO not as just a policy but as an important set of procedures created to help keep us safe.

By the Numbers

120
Estimated number of fatalities prevented each year through compliance with OSHA’s LOTO Standard.

50,000
Estimated number of injuries prevented each year through compliance with OSHA’s LOTO Standard.

24
Average number of workdays lost by workers injured on the job due to hazardous energy exposure.

The UFCW Local 75 Health and Safety Department

The goal of UFCW Local 75’s Health and Safety Department is to provide workers with the tools they need to address and prevent workplace health and safety hazards. Addressing hazards quickly and appropriately can reduce the number and severity of workplace accidents and illnesses.

Contact Us:

Kelly Winston
Union Representative/ Health & Safety Coordinator
1-800-665-0075 x3017
kelly.winston@ufcw75.org

Scott Kesler
Union Representative/ Health & Safety Coordinator
1-800-665-0075 x1124
scott.kesler@ufcw75.org

877-665-0075
www.ufcw75.org
facebook.com/ufcw75
@UFCW75