Causes of Forklift Accidents
In the United States alone, there are almost one million active forklifts. It is estimated that around 11% out of these will be involved in some of the other types of forklift accidents each year. There has been a lot of upheaval to minimize such forklift accidents and hence organizations including OSHA have set some regulations to make the working environment safe. However, due to different causes of forklift accidents, mishaps still occur due to improper training, malfunctioned equipment, or distracted workers.
If we look at the OSHA report, it reveals 1 out of 6 workplace deaths due to forklifts. In addition, forklifts account for almost 85 deaths every year and 34,900 serious injuries. Also, the non-serious injuries go up to 61,800 each year. Now, if we look at the main reason, overturning and crushing by a forklift is common which accounts for 42% of deaths. Overall, 90% of all forklifts will be involved in at least one type of accident. Nevertheless, this can be reduced to up to 70% of companies creating more stringent rules and safeguarding working conditions for US citizens.
What are the Common Causes of Forklift Accidents?
In this article, we will show you the common causes of forklift accidents and how they can be prevented. Let’s have a look:
Poor Training of Drivers
When it comes to managing forklifts, training is the first step that cannot be avoided. Not knowing the basic working of forklifts or following proper protocol will pave the way for accidents. Furthermore, any changes in the inventory, new obstacles, changes in the floor gradient, or nearby pedestrians can also raise issues for amateur operators.
Hence, it is crucial to provide training to each forklift operator. Also, the performance of the operator should be evaluated at regular intervals to avoid the occurrence of accidents.
The biggest problem with forklift operators is that they become too comfortable at times and drive irresponsibly. For example, speeding up out of the blues can lead to accidents. Reducing the traveling time gives a one-way ticket to accidents.
To avoid this from happening, you can set speed limits around your facility. This will ensure the safety of both drivers and other employees.
Using Forklift with Elevated Load
This is one of the common causes of forklift accidents. Operating a forklift with an elevated load makes it hard for the driver to control and leads to crashes or the forklift to tip forward.
It is required to carry loads as near to the grounds as possible to about 4 inches from the floor to avoid accidents from occurring.
Sometimes forklift tips even without elevated load. The turning of the rear wheels causes the rear end to swing outward and so increasing the chances of tipping during tight turning.
To avoid this from happening, it is best to slow down during turns. Slow down before every turn to avoid tipping and keep a gradual speed throughout the entire rotation.
Inadequate Warnings and Markings
Another one of the main causes of forklift accidents is that the forklift zone is not marked. To ensure the safety of both forklift and foot traffic, it’s important to keep warning signs and markings on the floor.
Floor tape and floor signs are the best way to Mark the forklift zone. Also, Mark pedestrian walkways, traffic flow, hazard areas, and aisles.
Giving Rides on a Forklift
It may seem fun and games. However, riding around on a forklift or giving rides to others without a proper seat can be extremely dangerous. It is necessary to have a proper balance while driving a forklift and not use body parts to adjust to the load.
Also, driving without a seatbelt or riding on a seat that is not properly secured or fixed are all the causes of accidents.
The weight of a forklift always changes, and it is usually on the higher side. Any mechanical failure can lead to major accidents or injuries. Hence, it is crucial to inspect every forklift regularly at the beginning of each shift, follow a checklist and ensure the working conditions.
Have you lost someone or injured yourself in a forklift accident and don’t know what to do? We can help you.
How Wolf and Pravato Lawyers Can Help You
Forklift accidents are very common sightings in the United States. Although common yet overlooked, these lead to fatal injuries to even deaths. Losing someone or being incapable to work due to such casualties has to be avoided.
Our Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyers at Law Offices of Wolf and Pravato can help you to reclaim your loss from the company and get you the justice you deserve. Our seasoned and certified lawyers are here to offer help and give a new life to you. Contact us here to get a free legal consultation.