What are Forklift Safety Lights?
While it may seem fairly self-explanatory, forklift safety lights are lights that project and cast bright colored light onto the floor in front, behind, or to the side of the machine as it is being operated. Surprisingly, these aren’t required by OSHA nor a feature inherent to every forklift, but they’re an incredibly valuable tool.
Despite being simple and small detail in the grand scheme of things, these lights can provide a big enhancement to the safety of everyone around the machinery, allowing other workers to see where the machine is operating even when further away or around corners and alerting pedestrians as to when a forklift is approaching, from what direction, and even how fast they’re going. People then have a much faster heads up about potential danger and more information, so they can make better decisions around these machines and keep themselves safer.
What’s especially useful about these lights is that they’re insanely bright and can easily catch your attention whether you’re looking in their direction at the time or not. You can be scrolling through social media, paying zero attention to your surroundings, and still be alerted to an
approaching forklift with time to react. And in the age of smartphones and constant internet, that’s beyond critical to preventing accidents involving walking customers/walking pedestrians or collisions with other pieces of machinery.
The Benefits to Using Forklift Safety Lights
It’s clear that forklift safety lights are fantastic little pieces of tech. Just hooking them up and utilizing them could potentially prevent hundreds – if not thousands – of accidents a year, protecting people from harm and saving businesses thousands of dollars at the same time. Who wouldn’t want that? But that’s pretty general stuff. How do these lights actually help, and what are the specific benefits they can offer? Well, let’s break that down real quick. Some of the most significant perks to using them are that they:
- Capture attention with no problem. As said before, there are tons of forklift accidents every year, and many of them are simply the result of someone not paying enough attention. Forklift safety lights can seriously reduce this problem, drawing attention with noticeable brightness and light variations. More accidents can then be prevented, saving lives, money, and injury – a win for everyone involved.
- Create visible surrounding borders. Even when people are at least somewhat paying attention, that may not always be enough to keep them safe. Sometimes people don’t accurately judge direction or how fast a forklift is approaching, which could prove fatal if they react inappropriately as a result. LED warning lights, meanwhile, clear up potential misjudgments by providing visible surrounding borders so they know how far to get away and where they should move to avoid any incidents.
- Coordinate with and complement current regulations. Businesses and departments have implemented many rules and regulations to increase safety around machinery like forklifts, but it’s not foolproof. Putting lights on them work as a fantastic backup, further reducing workplace and site risks with practically no effort.
- Take little time and skill to install. Don’t have a problem operating a forklift but aren’t exactly the handiest person around. That’s a-okay because forklift lights are super simple and straightforward to install and usually don’t even involve drilling any overhead guards. Just about anyone can do it, no skill or experience is required. They’re also durable and long-lasting, meaning you shouldn’t have to reinstall them frequently, either. It’s largely one and done.
What are Your Product Options?
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably pretty convinced that forklift safety lights are a good idea. That still doesn’t mean you’re ready to go to your nearest supply and put in an order, though. You’ve got to at least first know your options. After all, there are several out there, making it easy to get confused and buy the wrong thing. Luckily, we can clarify things.
Generally, there are a handful of different warning light types. The three most common and typically used include blue spotter safety lights, red zone warning lights, and amber strobe light beacons. The former of these can be installed to the front and/or back of a forklift and will project light anywhere from 10 to 20 feet (usually), alerting people to the machine’s presence and letting them know to move out of the way.
Red zone lights are a little different and establish an obvious boundary by shining a bright red light onto the floor. This distance is controlled by the operator and clearly shows pedestrians where the literal danger zone is, so they don’t accidentally get close enough for possible injury. And lastly, amber strobe lights are amber LEDs with 360-degree visibility and flash several times per minute. These make an already seen forklift more visible and can alert people to their moving direction a little easier, giving an extra layer of security on top of blue and red lights.
Ideally, you should use all three in conjunction with one another, but there are certain situations where choosing two out of three is just as well. For example, some people view amber strobes as disorienting and distracting, which could actually decrease safety rather than improve it. Because of this, you might be better off installing blue forklift safety lights and red zone ones before any further purchases, although the choice is yours. No matter what you choose, though, we’ve got you covered here at Tough Lighting. Contact us today to see the tough difference!