Towards Improved Forklift Safety
Roger Bostelman, Manager Mobility and Manipulation Project Intelligent Systems Division Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology Department of Commerce Gaithersburg, MD 20899
October 16, 2009
1 Introduction There are over 1 million forklifts in operation in the United States with an estimated 2 million operators (6 million
including part time operators) [Chugh] and nearly 2,000 AGV’s in use in the US. material handling equipment for many industries. If used properly, they Unfortunately, they can also pose some safety risks to drivers, pedestrians, and
Forklifts are a necessary piece of can reduce employee injuries. other equipment and goods. This
White Paper summarizes presentations and Measurements to Improve Forklift Safety.” section.
discussions from the PerMIS 2009 Papers presented during this special
Special Session on session are listed in
“Performance the references
Attendees of this special session included:
Roger Bostelman, Mark Austin Benny Forsman Richard Ungerbuehler Mike Shneier Will Shackleford David McCartney Luke Fletcher Garrett Place Steve Ruth Tim Meyers
Organization NIST OHSA – Baltimore/Washington Office Danaher Motion/Kollmorgen SkyTrax, Inc. NIST NIST US Army Aberdeen Test Center Massachusetts Institute of Technology IFM Efector IFM Efector Toyota Material Handling
This paper is structured to first summarize information from special session papers presenting statistics and issues which define the forklift safety challenge. Following are current remedies presented and discussed during the session that can improve forklift safety. Last are discussions and recommendations to further improve forklift safety from the final discussion period of the special session. Some excerpts are copied directly from the papers and presentations from this session.
2 Forklift Safety Statistics and Issues
OSHA estimates that there are 110,000 accidents each year.
$135,000,000 immediate costs are incurred due to forklift accidents
Each year, an additional 94,750 injuries related to forklift accidents are reported
Approximately every 3 days, someone in the US is killed in a forklift related accident
Approximately 31,600 employees suffer some type of injury.
Losses affect employees through physical and mental suffering.
Almost 80% of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian