JIT Toyota-Lift Blog

7 Tips for Forklift Operation Around Pedestrians

  • August 25, 2014
  • Joyce Schwob

The operator of the forklift truck is responsible for operating in a safe manner; this includes avoiding all pedestrians in the work area.


Here are 7 tips for working safely around pedestrians:

  • Stay as far away from them as is practical. Pedestrians may not understand that  lift truck are very different from cars. They may not understand how heavy the truck and load are, or how much it takes to stop the moving load.

  • Sound the horn at intersections and blind spots.

  • Never assume they are aware of you. Realize that they may not be watching for the forklift, even if there are warning lights and/or alarms and you sound the horn. If you think that they may not see the lift truck, do not move until eye contact is made. Make people stand back, even if the lift truck is stopped. Always have a clear view. 

  • If the view is blocked because of your load, travel backwards and face the direction of travel. If the lift truck absolutely must move forward, make sure that people are out of the way and move the lift truck VERY slowly. Use a spotter to help you. If the spotter or a clear path of travel is not visible, don’t move the lift truck.

  • Protect them from falling objects. Don’t let anyone walk under raised forks or a load

  • If given a load to handle and someone is required to hold or position the load while the lift truck is moving – STOP. There is something wrong. If you are unable to handle the load alone, change the load or the equipment.

  • Never drive up to a person who is in front of a fixed object like a workbench, support beam or wall.

It’s human nature for pedestrians to get distracted or to forget the challenges that forklift operators face while doing their jobs. Educate them when you can, and watch out for them always!