2020 Pedestrian Impact

Accident Statistics

Accident figures based on RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) over the last three years show that 43% of incidents involving a forklift truck were impacts with a third person.

Of these, around 65% were pedestrians engaged in activities unrelated to the immediate truck operation, 20% were co-workers/supervisors and 15% delivery drivers watching or assisting with loading/unloading their vehicle.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stipulates there must be adequate segregation of forklift trucks and pedestrians within the workplace. A risk assessment must be carried out where frequent MHE movements take place to ensure the safety of all personnel within the workplace.

For more information download our NFSD 2020 booklet 


Risk Assessment

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires all employers to carry out a suitable risk assessment to protect employees and others. The risk assessment must also be specific to a site, its equipment, and the loads being handled. It may sound obvious, but it must also demonstrate that steps have been taken to eliminate risk.

Planning of traffic routes should ensure that vehicles and pedestrians are kept separate, preferably by physical barriers, but floor markings, signage, and training are also important. Visibility, especially around crossing points should be ensured.

Where pedestrians and vehicles necessarily operate in the same area at the same time special controls are required.

Barrier systems should be sufficiently robust for the application and should be installed with deflection zones that do not impinge on walkways.

For more information download our NFSD 2020 booklet

Role of Management

Every year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigates serious injuries and fatalities caused by pedestrians being struck by material handling equipment (MHE) such as forklift trucks.  In most cases, the incidents could have been wholly avoidable provided simple and achievable measures had been taken by those in control of work premises. In so far as possible, removing people from areas of the workplace where vehicles operate should be the rule, but where this is not possible measures to avoid collisions should be installed and the ideal way to achieve this is through the installation of physical barriers.

Where barriers are not practical, other means of ensuring safe movement of pedestrians and vehicles must be considered.  This includes clear demarcation of traffic routes using paint on the floor, effective signage and other instructions. All measures should be strictly enforced.  It is unacceptable to devise systems and then not ensure they are being effective.

Training of lift truck operators is a fundamental legal requirement and remains key to ensuring both operator and workplace are safe.  If this and other stated achievable measures are not implemented by employers, then worker and other lives are put at risk. The HSE has said that where employers continue to flout the law and not take adequate measures, it will not hesitate to take legal action.

For more information download our NFSD 2020 booklet

Lifting Operations

For straight forward common lifting operations, a single generic plan may be all that is required e.g. fork-lift trucks moving palletised loads in a factory.

More complex lifting operations, including any where co-workers need to be in the vicinity, require a written plan developed by a suitably competent person. However, co-workers should never be permitted to be in the vicinity of moving parts or in the possible travel or swing path of the truck, and suitable controls must be enforced to prevent this.

Selecting the appropriate attachment for your forklift truck can simplify complex operations, improving efficiency and safety, and removing the need for a co-worker to be involved. Where permanently mounted attachments would restrict the use of the truck to only a few hours a day, removeable attachments, with powered mounting, have the potential to provide better utilisation allowing you to operate with fewer trucks.

Only use attachments which comply with the truck manufacturers recommendations and specification. Attachments may reduce the lifting capacity of the truck due to self-weight and altered load centre distance. Therefore, a capacity plate for the combination of truck and attachment must be affixed to the truck.

For more information download our NFSD 2020 booklet

Assistance Systems

Various types of aid are available to improve safety around workplace transport. These include safety lamps which project a warning symbol onto the ground, object detection systems, which can be mounted on trucks or at fixed locations, or carried by pedestrians, and smart fencing, which limits forklift functionality when boundaries or hazardous areas are approached.

Assistance systems cannot replace all other control measures. The risk mitigation effect of any assistance system must be considered for each specific application as part of the Risk Assessment.

Systems which inhibit truck function when in proximity to a hazard are more effective than systems which only provide warnings. Operators must be trained to understand the use, range and limitations of assistance systems, especially with regard to blind spots.

For more information download our NFSD 2020 booklet


Training providers offer courses on managing and supervising MHE operations to enable employers to meet their obligation under regulation 9(2) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) which require that “Every employer shall ensure that any of his employees who supervises or manages the use of work equipment has received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken.

Operator training should always include three stages; basic training, specific job training and familiarisation training. This must include details of the site layout and traffic plan along with instruction on handling the specific loads encountered on the site.

Co-workers, pedestrians and site visitors, including all contractors, must be sufficiently instructed and supervised to ensure their safety.

For more information download our NFSD 2020 booklet

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