Every year, a significant number of people are injured by accidents involving utility vehicles (Golf Carts, ATVs, etc.) in the workplace, some of which have ended in fatalities. By having a better understanding of how to minimize accidents, you’ll be a better driver and help keep those around you safer as well.
- Adhere to ALL traffic signs! When driving powered mobile equipment, you must STOP at the stop signs. Some stop signs are located on the floor through the plant. Be aware of all traffic signage when driving outside or inside the plant/worksite.
- Watch your speed! All motorized vehicles need to follow all speed limit signs. Use your better judgment and adjust your speed for the current driving conditions.
- Stay on designated paths and roadways. There will be specific areas and roadways at the workplace where you’ll be allowed to drive mobile vehicles – stick to them. Driving in unapproved areas can increase your risk of an accident or injury.
- Pedestrians still have the right of way. Just like on any other street, pedestrians have the right of way before vehicles. When driving from one place to another at your workplace, maintain a safe speed, anticipating that you may need to stop for a passing or crossing pedestrian.
- Don’t exceed the allowable weight limit. You should only have the number of people riding in a vehicle as you have seats for. Be sure that any cargo on board is secured to prevent it shifting while you’re driving. Too many people or an unsecured load can increase the likelihood of the vehicle rolling over.
- Keep all body parts inside the vehicle. Again, this is a safety notion for all vehicles. Hanging out of a vehicle can increase the risk of it tipping over while in motion.
- Inspect & maintain your vehicle. Regular vehicle maintenance like checking the tires for wear and maintaining the battery can help to reduce the risk of injury from blowouts, battery leaks, and other preventable accidents. Inspections should be documented daily when utilized.
- Vehicle safety traffic control plan. There must be a traffic control plan for the movement of vehicles in areas where there are also workers conducting other tasks. Drivers, workers on foot, and pedestrians must be able to see and understand the routes they are to follow. Vehicle headlights, rotating lights, high visible flagging, and horns may be required for task-specific and/or job site requirements.
Using a vehicle around the workplace or jobsite can make your day easier on your body by decreasing the distance that you must walk. Along with this convenience comes some additional safety responsibilities. By following these safety guidelines, you can keep safe while enjoying the convenience of these vehicles at work.