Traffic jams between pedestrians and forklifts can get out of hand, and dangerous, if warehouses aren’t set up correctly. Passageways inside an industrial facility are just like the roads we drive on every day. When they’re not clearly marked with signs or laid out efficiently, accidents can happen. 

To help avoid these kinds of accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created specific codes that prohibit any obstructions from being in permanent passageways. If forklifts or other machinery will be operated in the facility, these passageways need to be clearly marked, indicating where the forklift will be driving.

In an ideal facility, pedestrian passageways will be separate from those used by forklifts and other machinery. This will greatly mitigate the risk of a pedestrian crossing paths with a forklift. Utilizing hand rails along walkways and safety gates at intersections will also help keep pedestrians from straying into areas they shouldn’t. 

One of the most important traffic control measures to take is installing clear and informative signage. The first step is to create signs that indicate which passageways are for pedestrians and which are for driving machines. This can be done with overhead signs as well as striping on the floor. It’s also important to indicate which way the traffic will be flowing when possible. If the facility has lots of corners that drivers and pedestrians will have to navigate, installing convex mirrors will help everyone see what’s around the corner and avoid accidents.

Making passageways a priority can not only create a safer work environment, it can also help the entire operation run more efficiently. When employees can get from point A to point B quickly and safely, productivity and profitability will both get a boost. At Cowen Construction, we focus on safety and efficiency anytime we build an industrial facility.