Common forklift injuries that can cause serious injury or death

In many workplaces around the country, the use of a forklift is a vital and often-used piece of equipment. You may have worked with a forklift for many years and understand the importance of abiding by its safety guidelines.

However, what if you come in for your shift and the person driving the forklift on the previous shift is a new employee and has not been properly trained on it. One pallet left in an unstable position can possibly mean heavy items falling on you or a co-worker and causing a bad injury.

There are approximately 856,000 forklifts in the United States. From those, there will be over 61,000 accidents with non-serious injuries and around 35,000 accidents resulting in serious injuries during the year. Every year in the US, there are 85 fatalities.

Whether you are a seasoned pro using a forklift or are new to using one, with accident figures like the ones above, it is worthwhile to review the kinds of forklift injuries that can occur while at work.

Common forklift incidents

  • Forklift overturns – This is one of the most common ways to be injured while using a forklift. Typical ways for the forklift to overturn include being on a slope, driving too fast and uneven or overloaded cargo.
  • Being hit by a forklift – It is important to make sure that turns are negotiated properly, you maintain safe speeds and utilize your horn near blind spots. It can be dangerous to drive right at someone as your foot can easily slip off the brake pedal or the person may not properly get out of the way.
  • Items falling from above – Whether a load has not been properly secured, or if it is not grabbed correctly, heavy or sharp items can fall and land on you or co-workers and cause catastrophic injuries. 

Stress safety measures

The best way to avoid forklift injuries is to adhere to the safety measures of the vehicle and your workplace. Every employee who uses a forklift should receive proper training prior to use. It can also be beneficial to attend safety refresher courses at least once or twice a year.

A workplace injury can be a scary experience and cause you stress. You may be confused about pursuing compensation and what you need to do. If you have been injured at work, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through what you need to do to receive benefits.

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