Forklift manufacturers continually seek ways to make their equipment as safe as possible, building safety enhancements into their designs and helping customers to train operators in safe practices. But there are a number of other ways fleet owners can enhance safety for both operators and pedestrians in areas where forklifts travel. Here are just a few examples of the many add-on products that are available today.EXPLOSION-PROOF BLUE LED FORKLIFT LIGHT
Larson Electronics has introduced a new blue LED light to enhance forklift safety in warehouses, delivery bays, and other industrial processing facilities (shown in photo above). Unlike other blue light LEDs, Larson's luminary is compact (ideal for mounting in tight spaces) and waterproof (IP66), and comes with explosion-proof ratings for hazardous locations, the company says.
Larson's blue LED light produces 2,250 lumens (150 watts) while drawing only 25 watts. Forklift operators can use this luminary to notify nearby pedestrians and workers about ongoing forklift operations.
The new forklift light is Class I, II, III, and Division 1 and 2 rated for hazardous areas. The light offers 9- to 60-volt universal compatibility. The company also offers a blue forklift LED warning spotlight for general work areas and nonclassified environments. (Larson Electronics, www.larsonelectronics.com)FORKLIFT LEVEL INDICATOR
RB Innovative Products Inc.'s FlatFork is a digital indicator that shows forklift operators whether a truck's forks are level. Models are available for both counterbalanced forklifts (mast tilt) and reach trucks (fork carriage tilt).
The FlatFork, which can be used with a variety of forklift attachments, features a clear LED light display and automatic on/off capability. The device is easy to install and can be moved to other lift trucks as required. (RB Innovative Products Inc., www.flatforks.com)AUDIBLE FORKLIFT WARNING SYSTEM
Miltronics Manufacturing Services Inc. has introduced Forklift Alert, a proximity-awareness warning system for pedestrians encountering forklift activity in a warehouse environment.
The system includes a forklift-mounted transmitter that emits a high-frequency radio signal that is detected by a receiver. The receiver is wall-mounted in areas where pedestrian traffic occurs. When the receiver detects a forklift in the vicinity, it sounds a loud warning signal to let pedestrians in the area know that an operating forklift is close by. The receiver does not require line of sight and can be mounted around corners.
Forklift Alert can be installed on almost any industrial powered vehicle. A portable version of the transmitter is available for hand-operated pallet jacks and other nonpowered moving vehicles. (Miltronic Manufacturing Services, www.forkliftalert.com)FORKLIFT DIRECTIONAL-ARROW WARNING LIGHTS
TVH in the Americas has expanded its forklift-safety lighting product line to include new blue and red forklift arrow lights. These arrow lights will not only alert pedestrians that a forklift is in their vicinity but will also indicate the direction in which the truck is traveling.
The arrow lights are designed to be mounted on the front and back of the forklift. The blue arrow is mounted on the back, alerting pedestrians that the forklift is moving in reverse. The red arrow mounted on the front indicates that the forklift is moving forward.
When ordering the arrow lights, buyers can specify either top- or bottom-mounted options. (TVH in the Americas, www.tvh.co)PROTECTIVE DRIVER-ACCESS CAGES
Warehouse Rack & Shelf offers driver-access cages to help secure your warehouse. They prevent truck drivers and visitors from walking into forklift traffic areas and work zones. The cages come with a standard three-foot by seven-foot hinged door with push bar, service window, and shelf to provide the driver with a flat surface for handling paperwork. The cages are made with standard wire-mesh partitions and are very easy to install, the company says. (Warehouse Rack & Shelf, www.rackandshelf.com)POLYURETHANE FORK CUSHIONS
U.K.-based SumoGlove International Ltd. says its Sumo Glove helps reduce costly forklift damage, downtime, and wastage while improving productivity.
The Sumo Glove is made of industrial-grade polyurethane and is bonded to the forks, covering the hard steel with a material that cushions. By protecting the forklift's tines, the Sumo Glove can guard employees from work-site injuries as well as reduce damage to product inventory, pallets, and racking systems.
SumoGlove recently appointed BWS Industrial Services Inc. as its distribution partner for the U.S. East Coast. (SumoGlove International, www.sumoglove.us)VIRTUAL REALITY TRAINING SIMULATORS
Yale Materials Handling Corp., The Raymond Corp., and FL-Simulators Inc. exhibited virtual reality (VR) forklift training simulators at the ProMat trade show in April. All three were designed to help screen applicants for driving skills and improve operator training.
Yale's virtual reality technology eases the learning curve and boosts confidence by enabling operators to test their skills on a stationary truck before they start operating mobile equipment. The training system is especially useful for onboarding seasonal workers. In addition, the simulator is a useful tool for reinforcing good, safe driving habits for experienced and inexperienced drivers alike. Yale will be expanding the simulator to other models later this year.
The Raymond Corp.'s simulator uses a VR headset and attaches to Raymond's existing trucks, allowing trainees to use it on the equipment they will actually be driving. The simulator, which augments OSHA-required classroom training, allows operators to train with a coach by their side before they take equipment out on the warehouse floor for hands-on training.
FL-Simulator utilized gamified environments to train users. Its simulators include 10 different levels and 40 exercises based upon forklift training practices. The company used genuine OEM forklift parts along with a VR 3-D perspective to help accelerate learning through muscle memory. (Yale Materials Handling, www.yale.com; The Raymond Corp., www.raymondcorp.com; FL-Simulators Inc., www.forklift-simulator.com)IMPACT ALERTS, FINGERPRINT STARTER, AND WARNING LIGHT
Panacea Aftermarket Co. has added several forklift products to its family of safety products. According to the company, the Cam-DVR with impact sensors, the Smart Start, and the UL-listed blue light were all designed to increase safety and save money.
The four-camera DVR with integrated g-force sensors improves operator visibility and warehouse safety, and reduces product damage, the company says. Both the live impact alert and video review are available on a smartphone or desktop. These cameras, which are available for forklifts, cars, and trucks, come with a two-year warranty.
The Smart Start security control can start internal combustion vehicles with a fingerprint reader. Available for most forklift makes and models, this product can also be added to cars and trucks and takes just 10 minutes to install.
The UL-listed warning blue light was engineered for the toughest applications and features heavy aluminum construction, Cree LEDs, toughened glass, and an IP68 water protection rating. These lights, which are usable in multivoltage settings from 12v to 48v, are also available in red and come with a lifetime warranty. (Panacea Aftermarket Co., www.panaceaco.com)TRAFFIC-CONTROL GATES
Cisco-Eagle's AisleCop Safety Gate System helps control traffic to separate forklifts and pedestrians. Depending on the conditions the buyer specifies, the gates can restrict pedestrians, forklifts, or both in a highly configurable traffic management plan.
The traffic-control gates are especially useful in dangerous or blind intersections where visibility may be limited. When properly utilized, these gates can potentially help reduce or eliminate lift truck/pedestrian accidents, the manufacturer says.
Standard automated AisleCop systems utilize motion detection or other sensors as they scan for forklifts, AGVs, walkies, or other industrial traffic. Users can specify rules as desired for individual operational and safety needs. (Cisco-Eagle, www.cisco-eagle.com/aislecop)
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