There are more than one million active forklifts in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nearly 100 workers are killed and another 20,000 are seriously injured in forklift-related incidents each year. Statistically, that means that approximately 11% of forklifts will be involved in some type of accident each year. Although government agencies, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), set regulations to make working conditions as safe as possible, accidents still happen.
Common Causes of Forklift Accidents
Below are some common forklift accidents:
- Poorly trained operators
- Speeding during operation
- Operating a forklift with an elevated load
- Improperly turning a forklift
- Insufficient warnings and makings in forklift zones
- Giving rides or riding on a forklift
- Load block vision for the forklift operator
- Unbalanced or insecure loads during operation
- Forklift mechanical failure
How to Help Prevent or Avoid Forklift Accidents
Not every forklift accident can be avoided or prevented. However, according to OSHA, if companies implement more strict training policies, it could prevent about 70% of forklift accidents every year.
One of the most effective and easiest ways to prevent forklift accidents is to provide forklift operator training and refresher training. Another forklift accident prevention involves using a forklift designed with safety in mind. Important safety features on forklifts typically include: welded overhead guards, operator restraint systems and manually operated horns.
Since forklifts are generally used around pedestrians, it is also important to enact certain safety features to prevent pedestrians from getting injured by forklifts. In an ideal world, forklifts and pedestrians would use separate pathways separated by steel guard rails. But this is not a cost effective option for most operations. More cost-effective options might include:
- Blue safety lights for the front and rear of the forklift
- Safety mirrors on aisle corners, ceilings and rack uprights
- Vinyl strip doors
- Brightly-painted steel barriers for high-traffic areas
Even if the operators and pedestrians are properly trained and they follow all the safety procedures in place, forklift accidents can still happen. In the event that you or a loved one has been injured in a forklift accident, you should immediately consult with an experienced forklift accident attorney to protect your legal rights and help you obtain the full compensation that you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Forklift Accident Attorney!
Have you or someone you love been injured in a forklift accident that was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another party? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced forklift accident lawyer, please call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates at 949-727-9300.
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