Forklifts (lift trucks) are commonly used in factories, warehouses and construction sites to load and transport heavy materials. In order to protect the people working in the area, forklift drivers must receive proper training regarding safe operation and loading techniques, as well as in ways to alert co-workers around them.
Safety issues related to forklift cases
When forklift drivers fail to follow necessary safety protocols or keep a lookout for other people in the area, there is an increased risk of the following types of forklift injuries:
- Hitting other people in the area with the load or forklift itself
- Crushing injuries from setting a load down before checking area
- Dropping loads because the loads may be imbalanced or because pallets are not completely on the forks
- Failing to warn others that they are working in the area with a forklift
Unprotected workers particularly at risk for collision with forklifts
The injuries caused by forklift accidents are usually severe, given the size and weight of the forklifts and their loads. Crushing and pinning type injuries are some of the more complex injuries that tend to result from forklift accidents and frequently result in permanent injuries, disability and even death. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 100 workers lose their lives due to forklifts and another 20,000 sustain serious injuries every year in the U.S. Overturns are the leading cause of forklift fatalities and account for 25% of all forklift deaths.
Role of OSHA in forklift accidents cases
The OSHA has recognized the dangers associated with forklifts, and there are many statutory requirements that relate to the training of operators and the general operation of the machines. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers regularly refers to applicable OSHA references regarding operation and driver training to assist in the prosecution of our forklift injury cases.
OSHA has specific regulations and rules that workplaces are expected to follow to ensure worker safety. Some of the hazards that forklifts present are clearly covered in OSHA safety standards.
- Mounting and dismounting. Just entering and leaving the forklift can cause injury to a worker, especially slips and falls.
- Starting and stopping. Being aware of what is around the forklift and watching for blind spots is important when starting and setting the brake in an appropriate parking area is needed when stopping.
- Operating at speed. Going to fast in a forklift can cause a tip over and increases the risk of hitting other workers, vehicles or by-standers.
- Turning, reversing and inclines. There are hazards when driving a forklift that can cause the vehicle to tip over or lose its load. Drivers need to adhere to safety standards when maneuvering forklifts around turns, on inclines and when in reverse.
- Visibility. Large loads, poor lighting and lack of mirrors can all lead to poor visibility for forklift drivers. Making sure that all procedures are adhered to by making sure the driver can see and be seen is important to safety.
Chicago attorneys for forklift accident cases
If you or a family member suffered an injury related to a forklift accident, the law affords you rights to recover damages for your injuries. As attorneys who have litigated serious forklift injury cases involving crushed workers and other types of life changing injuries we understand your concerns when a forklift drivers negligence causes an injury. Further, we also know that many forklifts are simply poor designed and maintained machines. When appropriate, our accident attorneys can move forward with a defective product lawsuit against the manufacturer or maintenance service company that inadequately designed or serviced the machine.
Our lawyers are here to help you. We understand that no one can anticipate when an accident may occur. Therefore we have attorneys and investigators on call at all times. Our staff can be dispatched to the scene of an incident or to a client’s home at any time. Put our team to work for you today and allow us to take the steps necessary to secure the future of your family. (888) 424-5757