February 9, 2022

Who Has The Right Of Way In Warehouses?

In a warehouse, there are many things going on at once. Forklifts are zooming around, workers are walking to their next task, and pallets are being unloaded. It can be difficult to know who has the right of way, especially when two people or vehicles are trying to go in opposite directions. Here is a guide to help you navigate your way through the warehouse maze.

Pedestrian Safety With A Forklift

Work is being done in narrower spaces, which implies forklifts and pedestrians are closer together.

This is a growing issue with serious repercussions. In a mishap, a forklift operator is significantly more capable of killing a coworker than themselves (NIOSH Statistics). If you analyze the following circumstance, this sentence makes sense: A forklift operator sits within a robust metal cage on an average-sized machine (9,000 lbs) carrying a bulky cargo at peak speeds of 6-12 mph. The pedestrian is exposed and defenseless. 

Forklift Pedestrian Right Of Way

According to OSHA, pedestrians have the right of way; thus, operators must always be on the lookout. At doors, junctions, blind spots, and while entering or departing a building, the forklift driver is expected to slow speed and blast their horn. The operator must slow down and blow the horn when nearing a pedestrian. The operator should halt the forklift if the pedestrian's notice isn't gained.

The dangers of technology have multiplied. Bluetooth phone gadgets and MP3 players with earbuds are used to block out the sound of a forklift coming. Operators and pedestrians are both less alert due to the prevalence of texting on cell phones.

Are There Any Red Zones In Your Facility?

Pedestrians and forklifts share "Red Zones" at a warehouse. A raised load enables a pedestrian to walk below it. While a forklift operator unloads or loads merchandise, pedestrians may stroll onto the docks or a trailer. When using a forklift with a storage rack, consider several risks, including blind areas and falling cargo.

Why Is Pedestrian Safety Important For Forklifts?

Forklifts are standard at warehouses, docks, building sites, and distribution hubs. Forklifts, on the other hand, are not without risk. Unless safety standards are rigorously followed and effectively implemented, pedestrian employees and observers might be put in danger by unskilled or poorly educated drivers.

Companies that fail to follow pedestrian safety standards may be subject to OSHA sanctions. Forklift operators and pedestrians are both protected by OSHA. It provides forklift safety recommendations that apply to all businesses in the United States. Failure to follow these rules may cost a company massive amounts of money. If a corporation fails to follow OSHA safety requirements and a pedestrian incident occurs, the company may face legal consequences.

Take the time to teach pedestrian safety to your forklift operators. This means that these businesses may voice any concerns about pedestrian safety. Your forklift operators will learn the knowledge they need to detect and handle forklift pedestrian safety hazards routinely.

Improving The Workplace Safety

Your organization may want to explore the following to provide a healthy and safe working environment for pedestrians:

· Mirrors at the front and back

· Flashing beacons and alarms

· Walkways that are marked

· Areas with limited access

· Forklift traffic lanes

· Handrails restrict access to high-risk places.

· Man doors are used instead of overhead doors.

Nothing replaces forklift operators and pedestrian education regarding the dangers of operating in a warehouse. For instance, pedestrians seldom realize that a standard warehouse forklift carries as much as three empty autos, which does not include cargo load.

A walk-around of the corporate warehouse helps you identify problems and devise ways to lower the risk of a forklift and pedestrian collision. It also sends employees that the company cares about making the workplace a better place to work.


If you're ever in a warehouse and feel like you're in the middle of a maze, don't worry, you're not alone. Navigating your way through can be difficult, but with the right guide, you'll be able to make your way through without any trouble. Thanks for reading our guide on how to navigate the warehouse maze. Be sure to get in touch with Conveyr if you need help managing your warehouse logistics. We'd be happy to help!

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