I heard someone today asking about are forklifts required to have mirrors on them. There isn’t a lot of discussions about this matter and many are asking about the same question on the internet as well. I will try to answer that question in this article.
The requirement for mirrors is not stated in the 29 CFR 1910.178. If the mirrors are part of the equipment as standard issue by the truck manufacturer, these safety devices should not be removed or altered in any way.
However, there are instances where the operator may become dependent on mirrors when backing up neglecting to turn his head around to the direction of the destination. If this is the situation, make a habit to monitor the performance not to be too dependent on mirrors. You cannot fully rely on these devices no matter how clear or optically corrected they may be. The operator still needs to face the direction of travel and keep a clear view of the path of travel.
Why Would You Opt to Have Your Truck Installed with Mirrors?
It is easy for the operator to look into and see 150 degrees behind the truck. The operator can clearly perceive everything behind both the left- and right-hand shoulders. If the operator is physically unable to turn his around, the mirrors can be a big help to see things in the rear.
Mirrors are anti-blind spot giving the operator a much wider view of the rear of the truck, if your truck is equipped with wide-angle mirrors, the operator can have a better glance of the rear to avoid any collision with other vehicles and pedestrian.
A great benefit for having forklift mirrors installed on the truck is that it decreases the physical strain on the head and neck when turning around as the operator watches all angles of the direction when reversing.
Fitting Your Forklift with Such Safety Devices
If you want to have your forklift equipped with safety mirrors, you can choose between a convex and dome mirrors. The convex mirrors provide 160 degrees of viewing while the dome gives up to 360 degrees wide angle.
Here is the best one you can buy from Amazon:
There are some specifications to note when buying a mirror, as stated below.
If you’re an operator, again, we would like to warn you, don’t tend to drive the forklift in reverse while facing forward. Turn your head around, the mirrors are there just to assist your vision.
Two Types of Forklift Mirrors
There are two types of mirrors - round and rectangular.
The round forklift mirrors can be fit in either side of the truck for the operator to have a wide-angle view and eliminate the blind spot from the rear. The round serves just like the side mirrors on a car but with a much greater view being reflected for the operator.
The rectangular mirror, on the other hand, serves the same purpose as the rear-view mirrors on the car. The rectangular mirror har a bracket that can be screwed on the frame of the forklift.
Either type can easily be installed on the truck. It is up to you what type you want to install on your truck.
The glass convex and rectangular mirror gives the clearest reflection while the acrylic convex and rectangular mirror also offers the best reflection and it has the toughness of a lightweight and shatterproof lens.
Here's a convex type, you can buy from Amazon:
What Mirror Size to Choose
With a different variety of sizes and mounting available, you may be thinking of what works best for your application.
The round mirror can be available in the 8 inches and 5 inches in size. The rectangular mirror can be in 4” X 8”and 6” X 9” while if you opted to buy the steel rectangular, it has a size of 2.5” X 7”. With the different sizes and mounting option available, you can be sure you will find the right type for your truck.
To Wrap This Up
A forklift operator not able to see properly the rear when reversing is one of the common causes of accident in the warehouse. Equipping the truck with safety mirrors can dramatically reduce work-related accidents.
Mirrors are such a mandatory requirement just like the reverse alarm and seat belts. It should be a standard issue by the manufacturer.
If you don’t have mirrors on your forklift, you can opt to have them installed on the truck.