Company aims to curb forklift-pedestrian collisions

by MM&D Online Staff
A forktruck equipped with the Forwarner light.
A forktruck equipped with the Forwarner light.

Tampa, Florida—Every three days, someone in the United States is killed in a forklift-related accident, and nearly 80 percent of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian.

According to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 70 percent of all accidents reported could have been avoided with proper safety precautions.

Despite the fact that employers and industry are well aware of the dangers associated with forklift operations, many businesses fail to take appropriate measures to prevent such costly misfortunes. Tackling these disturbing statistics head-on, Keytroller, a designer, manufacturer and supplier of electronic safety and weighing devices, has unveiled its latest innovation, the FOREWARNER.

When mounted to a forklift or other moving vehicle, the FOREWARNER projects a solid blue or red tightly focused spot on the floor, behind or in front (or both) of the vehicle. This unique light spot is clearly visible to pedestrians and other vehicles in the area, alerting them to the nearby presence of the forklift. In addition, Keytroller has released a clip-on lens cover that transforms the spot to a line on the floor below. Many operators prefer the line for additional load control.

“There are far too many forklift-related injuries and fatalities that could have easily been prevented by the FOREWARNER,” said Terry Wickman, president and CEO of Keytroller. “We created the product with the focus of simplicity and durability; it is made of heavy duty die-cast aluminum, designed for tough outdoor weather conditions. It is also extremely easy to install and operate.”

This warning spotlight on the floor is particularly effective on forklifts exiting an aisle or a trailer. With the spot trailing in front or behind the forklift (or both); other vehicles or pedestrians in the intersecting aisle are warned of the close proximity of the forklift nearing the exit of the aisle.

This blue or red spot gives a visual warning in addition to traditional back-up audio alarms. Traditional audio back-up alarms can blend into ambient noise in the building and pedestrians can become immune to the sound.

The energy-efficient FOREWARNER is 5.5 inches in diameter, with nine focused light emitting diode (LED) lights, produced by CREE in the United States. The blue spotlight is 45 watts and the red is 27 watts.

Either light will accept input voltages of 12, 24, 36 or 48 volts of direct current (VDC), making it acceptable for installation to all internal combustion vehicles and electrics utilizing up to 48 volt batteries. The mounting bracket is adjustable 150 degrees up or down, allowing for precise positioning. LEDs are known for longevity and endurance, lasting up to 50,000 hours.

“With the simple installation of safeguards, like the FOREWARNER, forklift-related accidents can be significantly curbed,” said Wickman. “It is a company’s responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and pedestrians, and it is our mission to provide the tools and resources to do just that.”