Luke Brown

Luke Brown

Industrial Design & Technology BA

Increasing Pedestrian Awareness

Year on year, four to five thousand incidents of workplace transport injuries are reported to RIDDOR authorities. Of these, forklifts pose one of the top risks with 811 incidents of injury and seven deaths reported between 2010-11. As the current methods for increasing visual awareness centre around the use of high visibility colours; reds, yellows and oranges, their gradual overuse in such cluttered environments has led to a reduced efficiency in their effect. Using nature as a source of inspiration, the realisation of this project was centred on the principles of 'aposematism', a natural defence mechanism used to promote visibility in the wild. Applying this methodology, the forklift design has been equipped with dynamic lighting that automatically gives a gestural indication of the forklifts movements to near-by pedestrians. However, the key element to improve visual awareness is the truck's ability to change the colour of the lighting, based on its environment. Such a means of increasing visibility proves to be a cost effective solution, applicable across a wide range of warehouse environments, while enhancing the visual communication between the pedestrian and the truck. Similarly, the use of LED lighting allows forklift companies to remain free in regards to branding, something which up until now has been heavily reliant on the use of bold colours. This project was taken in collaboration with 'Nacco Material Handling Ltd', to develop a colour based solution for increasing pedestrian awareness of material handling equipment.