Being the world’s largest flooring manufacturer means we have a lot of product to move around, and one of the ways we do that is with our powered industrial trucks (PITs).
This equipment classification includes forklifts, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks and other specialized industrial trucks powered by battery, electric motors, or internal combustion engines.
These vehicles are a vital component of our business, but they also present some significant safety concerns for both drivers and pedestrians in our facilities. Half of all serious injuries involving PIT operators include pedestrians.
June’s Corporate Safety Topic is PIT safety, so please take a few moments to read the pedestrian tips below to make sure you’re doing your part to stay safe around PIT vehicles.
Stay in your lane: The marked pedestrian lanes we have throughout our enterprise are there for your safety. When you’re traveling by foot in a manufacturing area, make sure you stay in the designated pedestrian lane. PIT operators are trained to be vigilant at all times, but they’re expecting foot traffic to remain confined to these areas and will be on the lookout for you when you are where you’re supposed to be.
The brighter, the better: The correct PPE, which always includes a safety vest or shirt in a corresponding color, is required any time you are in a manufacturing environment. Keep in mind these fluorescent colors help you stand out from the equipment. Just by wearing your PPE, you’re alerting PIT operators to slow down and watch out for you. As always, PPE is a safety REQUIREMENT, not a fashion statement.
Stop, look and listen: Before crossing an intersection in the plant or moving to a different pedestrian path, make sure you stop, look both ways and listen. When you’ve got earplugs in or machines are running, you may only be able to hear a PIT when the operator sounds the horn or not at all. Don’t just rely your ears. Take a moment to pause and look twice before you continue.
If you can’t see the driver, they can’t see you: Our operators are great at their jobs and have been trained well, but they still have limited visibility while driving. If you can’t see them, they absolutely can’t see you. If you come to an intersection with a PIT, always make eye contact with the operator before crossing and follow any hand signals they give you.
For more information about PIT safety, check out these great resources.