Forklifts are a common sight in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and many other jobsites. These powered industrial trucks make lifting and transportation of loads effortless. Undoubtedly, these industrial machines are powerful and perform their task of loading and transportation of load with great deft and precision, yet they are a significant source of workplace hazards.
This blog attempts at discussing the various forklift accidents witnessed in the workplaces and how AI-powered video analytics for manufacturing industry can help ensure safer forklift operations in manufacturing plants.
Why is Forklift Safety a Matter of Concern?
Every year thousands of workers are either injured or killed in workplaces due to forklift accidents. According to Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), roughly 34,900 serious injuries and 85 fatal accidents every year are caused due to forklift accidents. The recent times have witnessed a hike in the consciousness for forklift safety, as a crucial element of ensuring workplace safety. Statistics reveal that,
What are the Common Forklift Accidents & their Causes?
The common forklift accidents include:
Forklift Rollovers: Rollovers are the most common type of fatal forklift accidents. Main causes of rollovers include: quick turns, overweight/ uneven/ unbalanced loads, abrupt mast movement, turning on an incline, driving with elevated load, and driving on uneven surfaces.
Pedestrian Impacts: Forklifts generally operate in close proximity with workers on foot and thus, most of the forklift accidents involves pedestrians. Some common causes of such accidents include: operator’s inattention/ carelessness/ fatigue, and lack of warning signs & signals.
Falling Loads: Falling loads from forklifts are a hazard to both pedestrians and operators. The main causes of falling loads are: improper load creation: off-centre, damaged, or loose loads; fast moving/ tilting/ lifting of mast; bent forks; and no load backrest.
Crushed by Forklifts: Struck-by/ caught-in/ caught-between are another common forklift injuries for pedestrians. Causes of these hazards are: crushed by the mast while tilting, inattentive backing, and loose materials falling off the forks.
Falls to Lower Levels: Another common forklift accident takes place while crossing thresholds. While moving between areas of a warehouse or into and out of semi-trailers, it is necessary for the operators to first ensure that it is safe to proceed. The main causes of such accidents are: tricks/ trailers rolling away, slippery floors, worn out/ damaged truck/trailer floors.
Personnel Falling from Forks: Internal bleeding, head trauma, broken bones, and/or impalement are some of the risks involved in having forklift rides. Main causes of such accidents include: unavailability of aerial lifts, prioritizing speed and convenience over safety, and unrestrained/ unapproved lifting platforms.
Emissions Poisoning: Although forklifts powered by batteries are use these days, yet internal combustion fork trucks are still in wide use. Main causes of emission poising include: working in confined spaces, incorrect fuel mixture, poor ventilation, excessive idling, and leaking exhaust.
Also Read: How AI-based Visual Inspections and Quality Control Can Prevent Anomalies in Manufacturing Plant?
How AI Video Analytics Can Ensure Safer Forklift Operations?
AI video analytics for workplace safety has gained tremendous importance in the recent time, mainly due to its multifarious applications. AI & its subsidiaries have been used by different industries to solve the various issues prevailing in them. Just like other industrial safety issues, AI & its subsidiaries like video analytics have the potential to manage the various forklift safety issues in the following ways:
Operators’ Distraction Detection
The dynamic AI monitoring system can detect operators’ inattentiveness/ distraction while operating the forklift. Further equipped with instant alert system, it can also send out real-time light & sound alert to alert the driver and ensure safer forklift operations.
Driving Speed & Turning Frequency Monitoring
Using the power of AI video analytics, it is possible to keep a track on the speed as well as the turning frequency of the forklifts. Moreover, instant alerts can also be sent out to the operator and other concerned stakeholders so that the operator can control speed on time. This can help prevent accidents involving forklift rollovers and the like.
Human-Machine Collision Alerts
Instant & real-time alerts can be sent out as soon as any instance of workers/ person standing/ working in close proximity to forklifts are detected. Moreover, alerts can also be sent out in case any person is standing on the forklift path way to prevent accidents related to human-machine collisions.
Forklift Overload/ Over height Detection
The AI monitoring system can detect and alert any forklift that is overloaded prevent accidents related to machine fall over. Moreover, the smart AI cameras can also detect forklifts carrying tall loads to avoid operators’ blockage of sight and in turn prevent accidents such as collision with pedestrians/ objects/ equipment/ infrastructure.
Object Falling Alert
Video analytics makes it possible to detect objects falling from the forklifts so that the operator and the concerned stakeholders can become aware of the situation and thus take insightful action.
How viAct can Help Ensure Forklift Safety?
viAct’s AI monitoring system has since its inception being leveraging the power of its scenario-based AI and video analytics to foster workplace safety in various jobsites, starting from construction, oil & gas and mining to manufacturing industry and facility management. viAct has been using AI in manufacturing to solves the multi-dimensional safety and productivity issues prevailing in the industry since long. Its smart AI monitoring system has been trained to automatically detect the minutest of safety non-compliances prevailing in the jobsites, like overloaded/ over height/ overspeed forklifts, operators’ distraction, and the like.
Further, the system of instant alerts sends out instant & real-time alerts to both the on-site and remote stakeholders so that insightful actions can be taken on time to prevent safety risks and boost the health & safety of workers in the jobsite. In addition to this, all the insights captured through video analytics are automatically recorded in viAct’s ALL-IN-ONE AI monitoring platform that enables the stakeholders to obtain the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) for their jobsites or can also use it for workers’ training and/or to deal with legal suits.
Thus, by leveraging the power of AI-powered industrial grade video analytics, viAct helps ensure real-time monitoring of the manufacturing plants to upscale efficiency of processes and lock the health & safety of the workers that too in an effortless and error-free manner.
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