Few people can appreciate the weight and power involved in forklift operation until catastrophe strikes, and even though employers notify workers of the dangers, little is done beyond that to prevent accidents. The Chicago workplace accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers fight to protect the rights of workers who have been injured in preventable accidents due to the failure of their employers to implement proper safety protocols. We also strive to assist workers who are in disputes with an employer or insurance company that refuses to provide the benefits guaranteed by Illinois work laws.
Forklift Accident Statistics
When reviewing the data regarding forklift accidents, our Illinois forklift injury lawyers can’t help but notice that many of these accidents could be prevented if employs receive better equipment or training. The following statistics have been taken from reports filed by government inspectors and employers across the nation.
- About 34,000 workers are sent to the hospital due to forklift related accidents every year. This includes non-serious injuries.
- 20,000 of the workers hospitalized suffer injuries that are serious enough to prevent them from returning to work. This means that two out of three forklift related injuries result in time lost from work.
- A quarter of the deaths reported in these accidents occurred due to rollover accidents.
- Roughly 100 workers are killed each year by a forklift or during a forklift related accident.
Causes of Forklift Accidents
In order to reduce the number of accidents occurring each year, it is important to understand how these accidents occur. Some of the most common causes of forklift accidents are similar to the causes of accidents involving other forms of heavy machinery. Here are some of the most common causes.
- Reckless operation of machinery. This can include driving too fast, improper positioning of the forks while carrying a load or not paying attention at intersections.
- Failure to ensure that trailers are immobilized. Truck drivers and forklift operators are both responsible for making sure that the wheels of a trailer are chocked prior to loading or unloading. The failure to do so can result in a driver pulling away from the dock while the forklift is still entering or exiting.
- Poor maintenance and inspection practices. It is important that operators perform a walk around of their forklifts at the beginning of every shift to ensure that they are in proper working order. Employers also need to make sure that machinery that is unsafe is removed from service until it is repaired to prevent employees from using it.
- Defective machinery. Manufacturers are liable when a product design flaw or defect results in an accident that causes bodily harm or damage to property.
- Lack of safeguards that may prevent injury. Many employees who are injured in workplace accidents are not provided adequate safety gear that can make the difference between minor scratches and bruises and life changing injuries. For example, helmets can protect operators from falling loads and a roll cage can protect the operator during a rollover event.
Your Right to Compensation
If you have been injured on the job, you are guaranteed workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for your accident. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented thousands of workers who were hurt while performing their duties and look into every avenue available to recover the compensation our clients deserve so that they can meet their financial obligations while they focus on their physical health. If it can be proven that your employer acted negligently, you may be entitled to additional damages.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation with one of our qualified and experienced Chicago workplace accident attorneys. We will be happy to travel to meet with you if you are unable to make it to one of our offices and we will perform a thorough investigation into the details of your accident to determine what legal options are available and how to proceed. If we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf, you won’t owe us a thing.