The Chicago forklift accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent many clients whose injuries resulted from accidents that could have clearly been prevented. Companies are required to provide a reasonably safe environment for their workers and this begins with offering adequate training so that those who operate large machinery can do so without placing themselves and others at risk of undue harm. If employees are not properly trained in accordance with OSHA regulations or informed of proper safety protocols, their employer can be held liable for any workplace injury that may have resulted from a lack of training or poor training methods.
OSHA Forklift Training Regulations
There is no ambiguity in OSHA regulations requiring training for forklift drivers, but our Illinois forklift injury lawyers have noticed that many companies fail to comply with these regulations anyway. Included among the areas in which all forklift operators are to receive training include the following.
- The general operation of the machine. Operators need to have an understanding of how their specific type of machinery works, how to raise and lower loads, how to accelerate and brake and how to safely take turns and corners.
- Daily inspection protocols. Workers should never be required to operate an unsafe machine, but some fail to perform a daily inspection to ensure all systems are operating correctly. The most effective means of ensuring that operators are not using defective equipment is to have them refer to a checklist of items to inspect which include the hydraulics system, brake, horn and forks.
- Center of gravity and how it impacts the operation of a forklift. All workers need to understand the concepts of weight and counterweights prior to operating a forklift. Knowing what factors impact your forklift’s center of gravity will go a long way to helping you understand how to avoid situations in which your forklift can turn over.
- How to properly balance and carry a load. Weight distribution is essential when attempting to stabilize and carry a load. Drivers should always keep the load close to the ground and travel in reverse if their vision is obstructed when moving forward.
- How to identify and report unsafe conditions. There are many ways that things can go wrong quickly when operating a forklift, but there just as many precautions that can be taken. For example, even though truck drivers are required to chock the wheels of their trailers, forklift operators should verify that the wheels cannot move before loading or unloading the trailer. Whenever an unsafe condition is discovered, it should be reported to a supervisor.
Holding Employers Responsible for Negligence
Our Illinois forklift accident lawyers encounter many employers that choose to cut corners rather than abide by laws that were enacted to protect workers. If it is found that an employer did not provide adequate training to its employees or failed to follow proper safety protocols prior to an accident, the employees who have been harmed may file lawsuits on the grounds of employer negligence. Our attorneys will gather any testimony and evidence needed to support the claim that your employer failed to meet its obligations and violated OSHA regulations when seeking compensation on your behalf.
You have the right to collect workers’ compensation as well as additional damages for your pain and suffering, lost wages, disability or disfigurement and any other expenses that can be linked to your injuries. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is an award winning personal injury law firm that specializes in defending the rights of workers and has helped thousands of workers recover the damages they were entitled to following their injuries.
Contact us today to speak with one of our qualified Chicago forklift accident attorneys about your rights and legal options and to arrange a free case review. We will take the time needed to perform a deep investigation into the cause of your injuries and explore all avenues available so that you can recover the maximum amount of compensation the law allows. If we fail to collect damages on your behalf, our services won’t cost you a thing.