Forklift Safety



Blog Forklift Safety Pic

(Photo taken at George R Brown Convention Center, Houston TX , Oct 2021)

The show floor is an energetic, exciting and fun place to be. But it can also be a dangerous place.  If you’ve been on the show floor during installation or dismantle, you are familiar with the dizzying movement of forklifts all around you.  This Forklift Safety Tip is a reminder for you, even though you’ve been on the show floor a thousand times, and it’s for your new staff who may not be familiar with the speed and sound of the forklifts that carry freight from the dock to the booth space.

Please share this safety information with your new staff and no one gets hurts.

The average forklift weighs close to 9000 lbs.  We tell our workers, “If you get hit by a forklift, it won’t hurt…because you’ll be dead.”  It sounds rather gruesome, but we get the point across.

According to OSHA:

  • Workers on foot struck by forklifts account for 20% of all forklift-related fatalities.

  • Victims crushed by forklifts account for 16% of all fatalities.

  • Falls from forklifts account for 9% of all forklift fatalities.

Here’s what your new staff needs to know about forklifts at show site.

  • Forklift drivers will keep to the right, when possible.

  • Pedestrians have right of way, but exercise caution nonetheless.

  • Show floors are busy and noisy. A forklift driver may not see or hear you.

  • You can expect forklift drivers to slow down and use the horn around corners and intersections. (They are not using their horn to flirt with you!)

  • Forklift drivers at show site are trained, experienced, and certified, but they are also human. Mistakes happen. Make no assumptions about your safety when forklifts are moving around you.

  • Unsecured loads may fall, crushing pedestrians or drivers. If you see a load that is not balanced and fully secure, please stay clear (and notify Show Management immediately!).

  • Do not try to outrun or outsmart a forklift. A forklift traveling at 10 mph needs about 22 feet to come to a full stop on a dry surface, more on a wet surface.

  • Never hitch a ride on a forklift.

  • Do not walk or stand under raised forks.

  • If a forklift damages your crate or exhibit, take photos, note the date and time, get the names and numbers of any witnesses, and report the damage promptly to the Show Contractor.  Ask the Show Contractor to come observe the damage immediately and be sure to get a written damage report.  Follow-up after the show is essential.

Exhibit Network has been working around show site forklifts for over 30 years.  Thanks to the caution and care of both our team and the forklift drivers, no one has ever gotten injured. Some of our clients’ crates were damaged by forklifts and we followed the reporting and follow-up procedures. If you are looking for an experienced trade show exhibit house with a top-notch safety record, please consider Exhibit Network.  #SafetyFirst