Forklifts have become an integral part of the industrial world finding enormous usage in different stages of goods' manufacturing, distribution and retail, in diverse environments. Although robotic forklifts are gradually gaining in popularity, a large share of goods is still going to be handled by conventional human-driven forklifts. This would mean that accidents as a result of human error will persist but that does not have to be the case. At least not with those accidents involving a third person.

According to an article, ‘2020 Pedestrian Impact’ published for the national forklift safety day, data from  Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) show that 43% of accidents involving a forklift truck over the last three years were impacts with a third person. This was as at 2020. 65% of which were pedestrians going about other activities unrelated to the forklift truck operation and 35% are either co-worker assisting with loading or just delivery drivers that happen to be in the vicinity.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) specify there must be sufficient dissociation of forklift trucks and pedestrians within the workplace environment and a risk assessment must be carried out where frequent MHE movements take place to ensure the safety of all personnel within the workplace. In addition to the above regulations, companies are taking additional steps to prevent accidents involving third person and forklifts. One of such steps is fitting forklift trucks with technology of some sort to make the driver aware of pedestrians in their blind spots.

These sorts of technology vary from just cameras to the use of radio wave signals or infrared sensor. In some systems, visual and audio alerts are made available for the driver to make decisions with while other systems take a step further by stopping the forklift truck when it gets too close to certain objects.

This is where DAJO SOLUTION comes in

We have been researching some of the existing technologies that could be applied to forklift safety. One of our on-going researches uses cameras to provide visual assistance to the driver and at the same time uses infrared technology to map the forklift truck’s immediate environment in 3D, providing accurate distance of objects. The challenge is forklift trucks are used to handle materials and are always in close proximity to those materials which is why our solution is designed to only pickup humans approaching the truck. The truck is brought to controlled stop when a person gets within a critical distance to the forklift truck thus preventing collision or damage to material due to sudden brake.

Field testing for this solution is in its final stages and the drivers already love it. In their words, “it simply works!” We are especially pleased to learn it already saved one life in the field.

Forklift OEMs keep an eye; this might just be a requirement for your trucks in no distant future. Forklift users are already getting on board.