The United States has become one of the major lift distributors in the world, with over 1 million active forklifts. Unfortunately, the increase in lift distribution comes with an increase in the number of accidents.
Recent statistics released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reveal that nearly 100 workers lose their lives each year while over 20,000 others are severely injured in accidents related to forklifts. Schedule an appointment online with a Houston Car Accident Attorney to learn more about legal issues and compensation in forklift accidents.
In this article, we look at the most common causes of these accidents.
Poorly trained drivers
Lift truck drivers require adequate training to handle potential and ever-changing dangers in the workplace environment. This could include moving employees, obstacles, new inventory, or a change in floor gradient.
Therefore, the company has a duty to ensure proper training of their drivers as well as adequate supervision to minimize accidents. Additionally, they should regularly administer eye tests, written exams, reflex tests, and driving assessments.
Insufficient markings and warnings
Organizations should strive to place adequate markings and warnings in their workplaces, especially when people travel through lift truck zones regularly. These markings are intended to warn people to watch out for such machinery.
Companies can use standing signs and paint to indicate or advise employees of a lift truck zone. However, the most efficient method is floor tape because it is easier to replace in case of wear or tear.
Lift trucks should have matching specifications with workplace requirements. Otherwise, they will most likely cause accidents. For example, a narrow-aisle lift is the most suitable for minimal aisle spaces.
Organizations should also ensure they remove obstructions, keep aisles uncluttered, communicate about changing gradients, and keep a clean loading dock. Otherwise, they will be held responsible in the event of a lift truck accident.
Forklifts are sturdiest when carrying heavy loads due to their function and design. Therefore, they are likely to tilt and fall if they turn corners too quickly. Drivers should slow down, turn, and ensure they maintain a gradual speed.
Lift trucks can also cause accidents if they drive with an elevated load or are being operated at high speeds. Excessive speed is a result of irresponsible driving, while elevated loads are caused by carrying loads more than four inches above the ground. Drivers should always ensure they drive within the required speed limits and keep load elevation within OSHA regulations.
Giving rides in the lift trucks
Lift trucks are made to transport loads. Therefore, giving a ride to a fellow worker is considered irresponsible. Workers should not be transported on a forklift load. Additionally, workers that aid in loading the truck should avoid using their body to balance the load as this could be dangerous.
As discussed above, accidents could be caused by an irresponsible driver or a neglectful organization. You are entitled to compensation if you are injured in a lift truck accident due to another party’s negligence. However, you need to work with an experienced Car Accident Attorney to help you prove they are liable. Consult Husain Law & Associates, P.C., for legal advice and representation in lift truck accidents.