- Blue and red lights were retrofitted onto three forklifts and used for 4 months in a warehouse environment to increase the awareness of approaching vehicles.
- A short list of open-ended discussion questions pertaining to the retrofit lights was administered to nine employees who were operators and pedestrians.
- Feedback indicates that all nine employees thought the addition of the lights increased the visibility of the forklifts and improved safety by making the vehicles more conspicuous.
Forklift vehicles are important in many U.S. industries. From 2009 to 2018, slightly less than 1.7 million powered industrial trucks, including forklifts, were shipped from manufacturers to customers in the U.S. (ITA, 2019). Forklifts are used to move supplies and products throughout facilities and onto tractor-trailer vehicles for delivery to customers nationwide. For each forklift being used, typically one or two pedestrian workers in the same area are exposed to the mobile forklifts. Thus, numerous pedestrian workers are at risk of being injured, sometimes fatally. The initial research conducted on forklifts by NIOSH (2001) indicates that forklift injuries and fatalities are mainly due to vehicle overturns, bystander (pedestrian worker) struck-by events and crushed-by-forklift events.