June 10th, 2021




A Step-by-Step Safety Process for Forklifts and Pedestrians

46% of forklift accidents involve someone on the ground. Here’s how to make it better


October 2, 2018
  • forklifts and pedestrians near a dock door

When it comes to protecting pedestrians from forklift accidents, focus on processes—the ways you segment, train, manage and work on a daily basis. Preventable accidents happen when a process is absent. When it comes to forklifts and pedestrians, accidents are far too common and frequently serious.


If you operate forklifts in your facility, you need to focus on foot traffic

OSHA statistics tell us that Americans suffer 85 deaths, 35,000 serious injuries, and another 62,000 non-serious injuries every year related to forklifts. Of those, 46% involve people being crushed between trucks, run over by a forklift, or crushed between a forklift and a surface. The thing about these grim numbers is that they are largely avoidable. 

Laying out the steps

Comprehensive plans require forethought, buy-in and analysis. They cannot be forced from above, and must involve more than just the EHS team if they are to succeed. To start your process, you must factor in all stakeholders and their needs.

#1: Create a cross-functional forklift safety team

This team should include safety personnel, plant operations, and people who work in the plant. There isn’t any set number of members, but the team should be comprehensive and empowered by senior management. Forklift safety can become contentious when it’s forced by the safety team, as operations managers and workers are focused on—and graded by—productivity. Including all the relevant personnel reduces conflict and helps you get a better solution.

This team can have as many members as desired, but should be manageable and should include people with a number of points of view. A strong team could include these functions:

  • Forklift operators
  • Supervisors and foremen
  • Safety & EHS personnel
  • Warehousing employees, including shipping/receiving, order picking and others impacted by changes

If you are dealing with multiple facilities, you should have a team from each site, using the same processes. You will get a better, more broad-based solution set that way.

#2: Create a baseline assessment

warehouse traffic management
Now, it’s time for the team to go to work and document the current condition. The factors should include cross-functional information that helps you determine facility-wide issues, what assets you have in place, and what processes or behaviors currently exist, including:

  • The current situation in general, with all background information
  • What controls or processes exist today that segregate vehicles from pedestrians? What are the current visual and audible control systems?
  • What on-board controls are installed on your forklifts?
  • What are the current behaviors (for drivers and pedestrians)?

Assessments may differ from company to company (and even site-to-site) but should be somewhat universal in nature.

Focus on the following factors:

Elimination: In this scenario, an area is set up for foot traffic only. Forklifts are not allowed at all. These areas should be delineated with guardrails or other physical barriers. You can also employ painted or taped crosswalks or other visual methods to mark these zones when necessary.

Alternative pallet handling methods: Identify areas where foot traffic is constant, forklift traffic is not desirable, but pallet movement is necessary. You might handle pallets with stackers, pallet jacks, conveyors, pallet dollies or other means rather than forklift.

See: How to go Forklift Free

Barriers & physical controls: Are physical controls such as guard rails, bollards, curbs, gate systems or other solid separation means present? Can they be installed to improve the situation?

Warning systems: Protective systems like sensors, mirrors, signs, warning lights, or proximity detection technologies. Score your facility on the presence or absence of these warning systems.

Training & processes: What has the plant put into place in terms of training, rules, and processes that impact forklift safety? (Example: require dedicated crossing points, or exclusion zones). Are workers allowed to use smart phones in the facility? Are they paying attention to the pathways? How are egress points into the facility handled? How are guests and visitors protected?

#3: Define “mingle points” for forklifts and pedestrians

segmenting pedestrians from forklifts in a warehouse map
It’s critical to understand where your pedestrians and forklifts interact. When you create a safety plan, you will segregate people from forklifts as much as possible, and then focus on interaction zones where separation it isn’t possible.

To do this, print a drawing of your facility and map these mingle points. Create a color-coded visual representation of pedestrian traffic aisles and then use a different color to represent forklift areas (in the example above, pedestrian areas are yellow, forklift lanes are green, and interaction zones are red dots). The points where pedestrians and forklifts intersect are your interaction zones. Mark and number these interaction zones.

#4: Define the risk levels in each forklift/pedestrian interaction zone

Once you’ve identified the at-risk areas, you should rate each of them. This risk assessment will help you prioritize each intersection or crossing and suggest a course of action to reduce the risks in that zone. The assessment should include the following factors in some form:

  • Accident probability: How close will forklifts and pedestrians get to each other? How tight is the area? What speed are the forklifts traveling? Is visibility adequate for safe operations? Are pedestrians paying attention to their surroundings? Are drivers honking horns and actively looking for pedestrians?
  • Traffic levels at the interaction point: How often do people pass through or work in the area? How frequently do forklifts run through? Is it infrequent, constant, or somewhere in between?
  • Frequency of pedestrian/forklift conflict: Count the number of times per day that forklifts and pedestrians intersect, or are both present in an area that lacks guardrails or other physical barriers. This does not have to be direct contact. It can be the simple presence of both types of traffic in an area where an accident is possible.

Once you have profiled each mingle point, it’s time to address that particular point, with a plan and priority.

#5: Implement safety upgrades

At this point, you have a team, a baseline assessment, a list of areas where people and lifts interact, and a risk score for each of those areas. It’s time to build a solution. These solutions can vary from zone to zone, based on the factors in your assessment.

If that’s not possible, move toward solutions that address the area’s safety concern. Those may include:
forklift warning light

  • Whenever possible, create exclusion zones where people and forklifts aren’t allowed to mingle. Decide whether or not the zone can be changed into an exclusion zone, where there is no interaction between people and forklifts. You will want to create as many exclusion zones as possible, since they are the safest alternative. For instance, many companies build pallet rack systems with carton picking on the floor level (or with integrated carton flow) and bulk pallet storage in higher bays. This is an efficient way to use space, but it does create a full aisle where people and lift trucks frequently share space. This may change plant layout and routes a bit, but the safety gains are always worth it.
  • Implement hard barrier controls, such as guardrails, bollards or gates. These should be used to create areas where people are physically separated from lift truck traffic.
  • Use visual controls, such as floor striping, signage, forklift warning lights, mirrors or paint lines. These are relatively passive methods, but they are necessary to help reinforce expected behavior and make people aware of the potential dangers.
  • Make it a process: administrative controls, such as training, process improvements and new policies
  • Consider automation: Automated controls, such as warning sensors, automated gates, backup sensors, onboard speed controls, cameras and other methods for managing forklifts & pedestrians

#6: Measure your progress

At this point, you have made changes in the way people and forklifts interact. Over time, you’ll need to re-asses the situation, using the same criteria you used above. If certain zones are still problematic, further changes must be made.

Final thoughts

Forklift safety is a process, and as such it can always be measured and improved. Companies that invest in it may avoid crippling–or even fatal–accidents. These are mostly avoidable accidents with the right processes, training and safety systems. Your team, scoring system and risk assessments should be specific to your company, your plant situations and other factors you decide on as you move forward, but making pedestrians safe around forklifts should be your true north as you make decisions.

Contact Courtney Material Handling, Inc. for more information!


Keep Employees and Visitors Safe with Driver Access Cages

May 13th, 2021


Keep Employees and Visitors Safe


Driver Access Cages


Driver Access Cage Key Features
  • Full width push bar for exit from warehouse side.
  • Service window with shelf for paperwork pass through.
  • Coded push button entry lock available.
  • Remote controlled electric latch release available.
  • Wall and ceiling panels constructed of 10 gauge wire, 2″ x 1″ rectangular opening.
  • Steel support posts 2″ square.
  • Posts have welded on base plate for lagging to the floor.
  • Posts are set no more than ten feet apart.
  • Walls have minimum 1-1/2″ horizontal reinforcement at least every 60 inches.



Contact Courtney Material Handling, Inc. Today!

New Product Announcement Introducing our new… Rubber Push Bumper

May 7th, 2021


New Product Announcement
Introducing our new…
Rubber Push Bumper

The rubber push bumper is a nice addition to any industrial setting!

The rubber push bumper is a nice addition to any industrial setting!
Standard Features:
  • Robust rubber bumper construction helps minimize damage and abrasion.
  • A 2″ receiver hitch allows for a quick and seamless attachment.
  • Bumper has a durometer reading of 80 +/- 5.
  • Tensil 950-1050 PSI
  • Impact recovery 95%.
  • Durable steel base.
  • Raised carrying handles.
  • Includes hitch pin and clip.
  • Powder-coated yellow finish for baked in toughness.
  • Works with Vestil’s HOOK-BASE series or a standard 2″ trailer hitch receiver.

Hitch Pin & Clip

Works with Vestil’s HOOK-BASE Series or a Standard 2″ Trailer Hitch Receiver



Learn More – Contact Courtney Material Handling, Inc.


May 6th, 2021



New Ultra-Lite Trays and Containers!

MFG Tray’s ULTRA-LITE material was developed in response to customer’s demand for a sustainable, lighter weight container that can withstand the rigors of continuous industrial use.



Courtney Material Handling, Inc. and MFG Tray develops customized solutions for specific material-handling challenges and applications.
Our trays and containers will work harder, and smarter for you. Trust Courtney Material Handling, Inc. and  MFG Tray for your tough jobs

Our trays and containers will work harder, and smarter for you. 

Trust Courtney Material Handling, Inc. and  MFG Tray for your tough jobs.


Contact Courtney Material Handling,Inc.toLearnMore!






6 Secrets to Successful Procurement in a Crisis

May 4th, 2021

6 Secrets to Successful Procurement in a Crisis

Welcome to Thomas Insights — every day, we publish the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date on what’s happening in industry. Sign up here to get the day’s top stories delivered straight to your inbox.

Man talking on phone

During the beginning of the pandemic, many essential businesses had to deal with sudden jumps in demand while unsnarling problems in their supply chains. Unsurprisingly, procurement departments came into the spotlight during this time, with SRM (supplier relationship management) taking center stage.

A recent conference presented by State of Flux, “Supplier Management at Speed,” featured Cheryl Harris, CPO of Sourcing and Procurement at Allstate Insurance, and Leslie Lauderbaugh, Director of Supplier Engagement and Development at Kellogg Company. The two professionals shared their departments’ challenges and insights dealing with supply disruptions from pandemic-related shutdowns, with Lauderbaugh in an interview with John Newton, State of Flux’s Director of Product Development, and Harris through a presentation.

Kellogg’s needed suppliers to ramp up production and increase COVID-19 safety practices right as the pandemic added financial burdens and supply chain delays. As an essential business, Allstate Insurance had to ensure they could still get the products they needed to branches while navigating quarantine restrictions in multiple countries. Here are some of their key takeaways:

Keep Strong Relationships with Existing Suppliers

The golden rule saved Kellogg’s from many pain points when the pandemic began affecting supply chains. Their strategy involved working toward common goals with suppliers, instead of pressuring or dictating to them. During the crisis, suppliers had multiple customers with increasing demands while their own production was limited. They prioritized Kellogg’s because of their strong relationship.

Talking on the phone with suppliers helped improve relationships, but it also worked as a litmus test. Kellogg’s procurers knew suppliers should be willing to pick up the phone even when they had bad news.

Fewer Is Better

Part of the strength of Kellogg’s supplier relationships came from narrowing down large numbers of suppliers so they could build more secure relationships with key suppliers. They focused on the top suppliers in their segmentation model, although they also built relationships with some lower-level suppliers during the crisis.

Help Your Supplier Too

When supply chain disruption came, Allstate reached out to find out which of its small and diverse suppliers were struggling and offered them help. The company provided aid with federal and local financial resources and made plans with suppliers for COVID-19 prevention measures and financial issues. Allstate advised and worked with its smaller suppliers to help them survive and grow so they could deliver what was needed.

For larger suppliers, it was also essential to find a meaningful way to acknowledge them. Kellogg’s had company leadership recognize them for their services.

Transparency Improves Relationships

Transparency helps speed up processes and build trust. Waiting until the weekly or monthly meeting with suppliers to relate important information wasn’t fast enough. Telling their suppliers right away enabled the companies to react faster and make better-informed decisions.

When supply chains were affected by COVID-19, Kellogg’s had to build strong relationships quickly with new suppliers, as well as strengthen weaker bonds with lower-tier suppliers in their segmentation. Transparency and flexibility were their most effective tools.

Acknowledge Supplier Expertise

Suppliers are specialists in their fields, so Kellogg’s tapped them freely for expertise. Asking their opinions and developing solutions together helped them make more prudent decisions. It also increased each supplier’s ownership of the problem and motivation to solve it.

Building Toward a Better Supply Chain

Because of the significant supply chain problems during the pandemic, procurement departments across all companies have had the chance to prove their value as a vital part of every business. The procurers at Kellogg’s and Allstate were able to accomplish what they did because they had strong leadership support, and they continue to advocate for their function in the company.

Allstate especially advocated for a strong procurement department through three strategies:

  • Communicating in an effective manner how procurement performance positively impacted the company
  • Getting people in other departments involved to increase buy-in
  • Developing advocates for their issues outside of the procurement department

Building up this support enabled more resources so SRM and other plans could be better implemented during the pandemic, weaving a safety net for both companies when COVID-19 hit supply chains.


Image Credit: goodluz / Shutterstock.com


Introducing our new… Vestil All Wheel Steer Truck

April 30th, 2021
New Product Announcement
Introducing our new…
Vestil All Wheel Steer Truck


Transfer items both large and small!

All Wheel Steer Truck


Contact Courtney Material Handling, Inc. Today!

Buy Casters and Wheels For All of Your Heavy Duty, Medium and Light Duty Industrial Needs

April 29th, 2021

Buy Casters and Wheels Here

For All of Your

Heavy Duty, Medium and Light Duty Industrial Needs!

Courtney Material Handling, Inc. has a caster for all of your needs!

Call Us Today If you Don’t Find What You Need Online!











Heavy Duty Caster




As the weather warms up, the need for efficient & affordable cooling has arrived.

April 29th, 2021

High Volume Low Speed Fans

As the weather warms up, the need for efficient & affordable cooling has arrived.

HVLS fans move large volumes of air at lower rotational speeds. This is how how the name “high volume, low speed.” came about.

High Volume Low Speed Fans

  • Hang It!
  • HVLS fans are engineered to achieve extreme airflow while maximizing energy efficiency and maintaining whisper quiet operation.
  • Designed to perform, built to last, easy to install, efficient to operate, affordably priced – these fans will have you covered from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between.

Each overhead fan is controlled by an inverter that allows for three power input options and variable output control of the fan speed. IP55 rated for industrial environments, the UL/TUV/CE listed motor and controller are integral to the designed safety features of this quiet giant. The unit comes standard with a 5′ down rod, mounting hardware and safety cables. Additional down rod extensions are available – please call for details. Electrical service will be required at the ground level control panel. Lifetime warranty on the hub and blades with a non-prorated warranty on the whole fan for 3 years.


The High Volume Movement of air, is achieved through a Specially Designed Airfoil for the blades. The “Airfoils” allow more air to flow over them like an aircraft wing. This effect, creates a larger volume of air flow from each blade.

Residential fans have “flat paddles” for blades & require Higher RPM’s to produce the airflow which tends to be turbulent.

HVLS Fans rotate at lower RPM’s to produce large volumes of air movement.

Compared to conventional ceiling fans designed in 1886, the HVLS fans are a lot quieter because of their lower RPM’s.

Our story is about making things simple.

The flex fan Solutions crusade towards affordable simplicity will improve our customer’s environment while enhancing their bottom line.

Allow us to share our expertise with our growing lineup of fan solutions you cannot afford to miss, that you can afford to try.

HVLS FAN Categories

The Fan Solutions Group has 4 Categories for a wide range of facilities applications:

  • Overhead – for Indoor & Covered Outdoor applications
  • Pole Mount – for Indoor applications that have a very High Ceiling or Outdoors without a cover.
  • Wall Mount – for Directed Flow Applications for Work Spaces and Warehouse isles.
  • Mobile Fans – for movement throughout the facility.


Berner Air Curtains

April 29th, 2021

Berner Air Curtains

  • Save Energy
  • Improve Comfort
  • Increase Safety
  • Berner’s Air Curtains are a sustainable solution that lowers energy costs by eliminating untempered outside air from entering through open doors. A sanitary solution that deters flying insects from entering through open doors. A safer solution than plastic vinyl strip curtains by using an invisible air barrier to protect the opening.
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • All Berner Air Curtains are shipped factory assembled for quicker installation and are factory wired and tested for quality prior to shipment.
  • UL listed for interior or exterior mounting.
  • Freight included to the first destination continental U.S.A.

Low Profile Air Curtains for Front and Rear Entrances to Commercial Buildings – 7′ Maximum Mounting Height
Available Voltages: 120/208/240/1

Industrial Air Curtains for All Types of Receiving Doors – 10′ to 12′ Maximum Mounting Heights
Available Voltages: 120/208/240/1
Price Includes Factory Mounted/Wired Control Panel When Required- LH End Plate

Heavy Duty Industrial Air Curtains for All Types of Receiving Doors – 12′ to 14′ Maximum Mounting Heights
Available Voltages: 208/240/480/3
Price Includes Factory Mounted/Wired Control Panel When Required – LH End Plate

All HIDC14 available in Single Lengths up to 16’… Call for Pricing.

Overall size for INDUSTRIAL AIR and HEAVY DUTY INDUSTRIAL AIR CURTAINS does not include depth of motor control panel / motor control panel mounted left hand end standard.

Please call for Door Sizes Not Listed, Heated Models and Custom Applications. FOB Shipping Point.

See Related Accessories for Berner Air Curtains.

Introducing – Vestil’s New Counter Balanced Drum Stackers

April 5th, 2021



New Product Announcement
Introducing – Vestil’s New
Counter Balanced
Drum Stackers
Model: DRLT-CB-54-MDPL
Manual Drive
Model: DRLT-CB-54-PDPL
Powered Drive
Transport a Variety of Drum Styles
Simple Controls for Quick Movement
Raised Height: 54″
Lowered Height: 26-3/4″
The counter balanced design is perfectly suited for tight areas and the loading/unloading of drums onto pallets or scales!
Standard Features:
  • Works with most styles of 30, 55, or 85 gallon poly or steel drums.
  • Walk behind user-friendly style for complete control.
  • Ability to raise and lower to precise heights.
  • Simple controls for quick movement.
  • DRLT-CB-54-MDPL is manual drive/powered lift.
  • DRLT-CB-54-PDPL is powered drive/powered lift.
  • Rolls on (2) 8″ x 3″ swivel and (2) 6″ x 3″ rigid casters.
  • Tough baked in powder coated black and yellow finish.
  • Drum not included.
See below for more drum stacker options!
Counter Balanced Drum Lifters
Model: S-CB-62-SDC
Portable Drum Lifter/Rotator/Transporter

Contact Courtney Material Handling, Inc. Today!