Forklifts are a common sight in warehouses and construction. They’re also one of the biggest dangers to employees — perhaps, in part, because they are such a familiar sight that not all employees are as wary of them as they should be.
In fact, some of the most common reason for forklift injuries can be directly tied to a lack of awareness of the terrible danger they present:
Workers who are on foot on the warehouse or manufacturing floor when a forklift is in use need to be alert to the possibility that they can easily be struck and injured by a forklift that’s gone out of control due to an equipment failure.
Not everyone who jumps behind the wheel of forklift is expert at operating one, and they may accidentally drive it right into someone standing on the floor. Alternately, they may drive it into a row of stacked goods, bringing the stacks crashing down on their coworkers’ heads.
Sometimes, the pedestrian is the person to blame for the accident — if a worker isn’t paying attention, he or she may not hear the forklift in operation and could easily step into its path where the driver can’t see.
Sometimes workers simply stumble or fall at the wrong time and end up crushed underneath a forklift. It actually happens so often that it accounts for 16 percent of the deaths related to forklift accidents. Workers also sometimes take foolish risks, like standing on the lift’s forks while the equipment is in motion.
The most common cause of a forklift injury or death is actually an overturned forklift — and most operators aren’t prepared for it to happen. Uneven loads and uneven ground can easily send a forklift onto its side. The natural instinct of an untrained driver is to try to jump away from the lift as it falls, but it’s far safer to stay in the cab instead.
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident involving a forklift, you may face years of recovery. Talk to an attorney in order to discuss your options as soon as possible.
Source: EHS DAILY ADVISOR, “5 Deadly Forklift Dangers,” Chris Kilbourne, accessed July 14, 2017