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Visionary thinking on visibility

12 March 2018

Giving lift truck operators the best field of vision is vital to safe operations. However, it’s just as important to consider how much your workers on foot can see, too. That’s the advice from Mitsubishi, announcing its latest safety innovation: Safety Zone.

When it comes to improving visibility, the focus has been firmly on operators and it’s an area that the manufacturer has made great strides with through its revolutionary VisionMast.

But with accident figures on the rise, according to the latest HSE statistics, something needs to change, as Stewart Gosling of Red Diamond Distribution – official importers for Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks in the UK – explains.

“Each year, approximately 1300 people are seriously injured in accidents involving lift trucks and more than half of these injure workers on foot.  

“It’s clear that there’s much more that can be done to warn pedestrians that a truck is getting ‘too close’ – in a way that doesn’t rely on auditory clues. After all, when there are a number of trucks moving around or vehicles or pieces of machinery operating in the area, then the sound generated by a truck just around the corner may be difficult to pick out.

“For employers, the most ideal and practical solution would be to extend the area in which your workers are visibly aware of a lift truck… without impacting on its size.”

It is this line of thinking which led to the development of the Mitsubishi Safety Zone system, as Stewart explains.

“Simply put, this pedestrian safety alert system uses high-intensity LEDs to case bright, bold red lines on the floor behind and to the sides of the truck. These clearly show – at a glance – the safe distance that must be kept by pedestrians to continue working in safety… and this extra visual clue is crucial when a site is busy.”

“In tests, it has been proven that pedestrians – as well as other powered vehicles – intuitively move away from the red Safety Zone. And it is this natural reaction which makes it such a simple, but effective, safeguarding measure.