A forklift is designed to operate quietly while traveling at a high speed. It may go unnoticed until it strikes you… The risk to your well-being is real.

As with any other machine, each forklift component needs to function properly to ensure the safe operation thereof. Although it may not seem essential, even the smallest lighting part is key to maintaining an efficient and safe workplace.

According to the OSHA regulation 1910.178(h)(2), “when general lighting is less than 2 lumens per square foot, auxiliary light shall be provided on the forklift.” In other words, if you have poor lighting, operate outdoors or at night, you need headlights.

The most common lights used on a forklift are headlights and brake lights. When mounted on a forklift, the headlights are located on the front of the forklift whilst the brake/tail lights are located on the rear. Three additional safety lights useful for a variety of operations include:

  1. Strobe Lights
  2. Blue Pedestrian Spotlights
  3. Red Pedestrian Zone Lights

Now did you know, every year 1 in 10 forklifts are involved in accidents and 40% of all forklift accidents involve a pedestrian…

Warehouse workers are often surrounded by loud machinery and tend to wear earplugs or listen to headphones whilst concentrating on their work – obstructing one or more of their senses. An alternative precaution is critical to ensure the safety of the workers.

The importance of forklift visibility cannot be stressed enough. Forklift lighting is the added safety precaution to help both your operators as well as your working pedestrians on the floor – especially in poorly lit work environments.

When it comes to proper lighting in a warehouse, it’s important to understand how light affects vision among people of different ages. A forklift driver in a dark warehouse with little depth perception won’t be able to see a fellow employee or object in time to respond effectively. Remember, a forklift operator cannot do their job accordingly if they cannot see what they are doing – visibility is a crucial prerequisite for the safe use of forklift trucks.

Regardless of what lights are installed, forklift operators should perform a daily assessment if you are using lights on a forklift. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) may not require you to have them, but if you do, they must be working properly.

It is evident that proper lighting enhances safety and productivity and may affect product loss and damages. The cost should never be the deciding factor. You stand to lose a lot more when you don’t invest enough.