Industrial Traffic Control Enhances Plant Safety

19th of October 2009 0

Industrial Traffic Control Enhances Plant Safety


Many industries use forklifts and loaders to move products around their manufacturing plants. 90 percent of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident during their useful life according to the Industrial Truck Association. Fatal accidents occur most often in manufacturing facilities (42 percent), followed by construction (23.8 percent).

In June 2001, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that forklifts result in 100 pedestrian deaths and over 20,000 pedestrian injuries yearly in the US alone. The costs incurred due to forklift accidents are estimated to be over a hundred million dollars.

Pedestrian and vehicle traffic in plant areas used by fork lifts can be made safer by minimizing the occurrences where and accident can happen. Studies show that most of these accidents could have been prevented.

The main cause of forklift fatalities is tip-over (42 percent). The other causes are crushed between vehicle and a surface (25 percent), crushed between two vehicles (11 percent), struck or run over by a forklift (10 percent), struck by falling material (8 percent) and fall from platform on the forks (4 percent).

Pedestrians are coming into contact with lift trucks all too frequently. Pedestrians need to walk in designated areas and report hazardous conditions. Cross walks and barricades should be added to areas where an accident is likely to happen, like a blind corner.

Many plants use safety signs to warn of potential oncoming traffic. After a while a safety sign becomes ineffective as people become accustomed to them and ultimately ignore them, and management feels that they have protected workers by installing the signs. A much more effective method can be used to reduce forklift and pedestrian collisions. By zoning pedestrian and vehicle intersections and installing safety alert technologies such as traffic signals, which people are conditioned to obey, accidents can be minimized.

If an area has a blind approach, a traffic signal can be used at either end. Micorwave sensors can be placed to detect vehicle and pedestrian traffic. When something moves into the detection zone, the signal will turn red, indicating oncoming traffic. The lights can also be set to allow for automatic timing or first-in-first-out traffic management, or can be overridden with a remote control or actuator.

have been successfully used on construction sites, parking lots, airport terminals, and in industrial plants. Visit the website to see if Horizon Signal can help with your

Horizon Signal Technologies

traffic safety issue

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