Top 10 Leading Indicators of MHE Safety Accidents
1. Not looking in the direction of travel (Unsafe Driving Behavior)
Based on our data, one of the most common reasons for safety events is an operator failing to look in the direction of travel. An accident can occur in a split second when looking down or away from the direction of travel.
2. Cell Phone Use (Distracted Driving)
Many know the dangers of texting while driving. Those same dangers translate to the warehouse environment. OneTrack sends notifications when a cell phone is seen on or around a lift.
3. Hands off the controls (Unsafe Driving Behavior)
Forklifts do not have the same types of steering controls as traditional vehicles. Taking hands off the controls, if only for a second, can lead to severe accidents and impacts. Operators with hands off the controls may want to use RF scanners, computers, or review paperwork, but those tasks should wait until the equipment is at rest.
4. Obstructed dashboard controls (Unsafe Driving Behavior)
Many warehouses require operators to carry different equipment. Tape, paperwork, RF scanners, and shrinkwrap are some of the most common utensils we see. A common danger is items making their way onto the dashboard near the steering controls. Those tools can end up lodged under the steering controls and cause the operators to lose control of the lifts, resulting in safety events.
5. Excessive Speed/Unsafe Turning (Unsafe Driving Behavior)
While carrying a load on a lift, driving patterns need to adapt. Extra weight affects the center of gravity and increases stopping distance. Aggressive driving can quickly increase the likelihood of the load shifting and becoming unstable. Aggressive driving is also a leading indicator of increased product damage.
6. Eating/Drinking (Distracted Driving)
Drinking or eating while operating an MHE can cause significant safety events. This action often requires at least one hand to be off the controls and eyes off the direction of travel. An innocent event can have serious consequences.
7. Debris on the floor (Environmental Factors)
A common leading indicator of safety in a warehouse is debris on the floor. Broken pallet bits, shrinkwrap, and product parts can create hazardous driving conditions. Operators need to navigate around these items, increasing the possibility of accidents. An often overlooked hazard on the floor is water. Something as simple as water we have seen leads to severe accidents. It impairs the operator's ability to control the lift.
8. Failing to follow travel procedures (Unsafe Driving Behavior)
What do your operators do at the end of an aisle? When they enter congested areas or approach pedestrians? OneTrack brings visibility to determine if your operators are following the policies and procedures.
9. Headphones (Unsafe Driving Behavior)
When two lifts are in an accident, often times one operator has headphones on/in. The distractions that headphones bring to the warehouse are twofold: 1. Unable to hear the environment (lifts, horns, people) 2. The distraction of listening to something and not being focused on the task.
10. Load in front (Unsafe Driving Behavior)
When moving forward with a load, the view of what is in front of the MHE is obstructed. One of the only exceptions to this is when an operator is loading a trailer. They must follow the proper guidelines for entering and exiting a trailer.
Have you read the Do you have a Critical Eye blog? If not, check it out! It adds context to the Top 10 list and will help you understand how OneTrack categorizes each behavior.