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Forklift Pedestrian Safety: Traffic Separation Solutions - Part 2

Filed under: Safety

We have compiled a list of possible solutions to key issues in implementing a successful traffic management plan: This week we look at Separation here in part (2); then next week in Part (3) of the series we will discuss Speed and Visibility.

Through employing ergonomic and logistical planning, an organisation can increase productivity and efficiency by improving traffic flow; reducing unloading and loading times and dramatically improving worker safety.  This ensures a win-win scenario for both employers and employees.


One of the most important actions an employer can implement is to ensure effective separation between where forklifts & pedestrians operate. Separation will ensure better flow of traffic; while also safeguarding workers well-being.

Planning designated areas for traffic management:

    Forklift barriers
  • No go Zones (for forklifts)
  • No go Zones (for pedestrians)
  • Traffic intersections
  • Doors and Blind Spots

Intersections or Cross over points with traffic

  • Return opening gates (Gates that open towards the users slows movement forcing pedestrians to stop and look before walking across intersections.)
  • Button/action gates (Button, or action (require pedestrian action) gates that engage pedestrians to think before walking similar to return opening gates).
  • Traffic lights (It’s been proven that using signals that people already obey will increase effectiveness; as people are already conditioned to stop automatically at red lights.
  • Automated traffic gates (similar to systems used for trains gates can be set up with sensors that only open when it’s clear.)
  • Bridges (bridges can be used to completely remove traffic intersections, helping to improve traffic flow and therefore productivity.)

Pedestrian path ways

  • Elevated walk ways (Ideal system for separation by ensuring pedestrians and machinery are separate at all times; allowing workers to move seamlessly without having to worry about watching for traffic; hence helping to improve traffic flow.)
  • overhead walkway
  • Caged walk ways (Provide a greater degree of safety for pedestrians; they should be implemented in high falling object risk areas; such as near racking, and loading and unloading areas)
  • Barricades/fencing (barricades and fencing will provide basic separation and some level of protection depending on the type and style of barricade)
  • Painted Lines (Painting lines is the bare minimum that can be used for Pedestrian Safety, providing basic guide lines for traffic movement).

Doors and Entries

  • Automatic Opening & Closing Roller Doors (Automatic roller doors that only allow forklifts to move in and out help ensure separation of pedestrians and forklifts.
  • Automatic warning sounds (when roller doors & pedestrian doors are opened and closed; one issue with using sound is that it can often be drowned out by general factory noise)
  • Effective lighting in doorways (driving from outside to inside can impair vision due to the contrasting light difference; it can take a few minutes for an operators eye to adjust to different lighting)


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Next entry: Forklift Pedestrian Safety: Traffic Speed & Visibility Solutions - Part 3

Previous entry: Forklift Pedestrian Safety: Introduction to the Risks - Part 1