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What Is the Most Common Type of Lift Truck Accident?

what-is-the-most-common-type-of-lift-truck-accidentYou were injured on the job, and now you're dealing with the workers' compensation system. It can be confusing and challenging, especially if you don't have an attorney to help you.

Facing the workers' compensation system without an attorney is daunting. The process is complicated, and if you make a mistake, it could cost you the benefits you're entitled to receive. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have extensive experience representing victims of lift truck accidents.

Our onstruction accident attorneys are experienced in workers' compensation law and can guide you through the process step-by-step. We will work hard to get you the benefits that you deserve. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 for a free case evaluation, and let us help you get on the road to recovery.

Crushed by a Lift Truck

One of the most common and potentially dangerous lift truck accidents is when a worker is crushed by the truck. It can occur when a worker is standing in the path of a moving lift truck or caught between the car and another object.

In either case, the results can be catastrophic. Workers crushed by industrial trucks, such as lift trucks, can suffer serious injuries.

Lift truck accidents are also called forklift accidents. A forklift is a lift truck with a pronged device called a fork attached to the front. One can use the fork to pick and move pallets and other objects.

Forklift Accident Statistics

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 85,000 forklift accidents occur yearly. Of these accidents, 34,900 injuries, and 85 of them are fatal.

The leading cause of forklift accidents is operator error. Inexperienced or untrained operators cause approximately 56% of all forklift accidents.

Many forklift accidents involve pedestrians more often than any other lift truck accident. Pedestrians are involved in 70% of all fatal forklift accidents.

Powered industrial trucks, such as lift trucks, are involved in more than a third of all fatalities in the warehousing and storage industry. Improper training or reckless use of a lift truck can cause serious injuries.

Other common causes of forklift accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Poor maintenance of equipment
  • Improperly loaded forks
  • Defective parts
  • Wet or slippery floors

Any forklift accident can have devastating consequences for victims and families. The overturned and crushed victims of these truck accidents often seek medical attention and can be out of work for an extended period.

The Most Common Injuries Caused by a Lift Truck Crash

Forklift injuries can be hazardous and sometimes cause death. Studies show that operator workplace and non-workplace lift truck injuries make up a significant portion of the total number of lift truck accidents.

Between 2013 and 2016, lifting trucks were attributed to 2,660 injuries requiring workers' compensation insurance benefits.

These forklift injuries resulted in lost workdays, permanent or temporary disabilities, and even death. The narrow aisles lift truck is the most common lift truck involved in accidents.

The following are some of the most common injuries caused by forklift truck accidents:

  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Amputations
  • Lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Burns

Other workplace injuries may also account for a portion of the total, resulting in permanent disability and several other issues.

Even if your workplace accident injuries do not seem serious, it is crucial to have them checked out by a doctor. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can start recovering.

How to Prevent Forklift Accidents

Forklift operators should be adequately trained and certified. Most fatal lift truck accidents happen when a forklift crushes a worker, overturns or falls from a loading dock.

Many employers provide training since it's the law to have forklift training. Ensure you fully understand the dangers of working around lift trucks and take precautions to stay safe.

Every lift truck operator should also be aware of their surroundings and never operate lift trucks in crowded areas. If possible, industrial trucks' or lift operators should avoid using the forklift in areas with pedestrians.

Other essential safety precautions are ensuring that the forklift is maintained correctly. All parts should be in good working order, and a qualified technician should regularly inspect the truck.

Occupational Safety Rules

Employers should create and enforce occupational safety rules for operating the forklift. These rules should be posted in a visible location, and all employees should be aware of them.

Employers should also ensure that the workplace is clean and free of forklift hazards, such as wet floors and obstacles.

A mast-mounted camera with an operator compartment monitor helps the operator.

In addition, employees should be dressed appropriately for the job. Wearing loose clothing or jewelry can increase the risk of being injured in a forklift accident.

Proper forklift training is an employer's most important step to protect employees from forklift accidents. An OSHA study found that 25% of forklift accidents were caused by inadequate training, but fewer mistakes might be prevented with adequate employer investment.

What Are the Most Common Types of Lift Truck Accidents?

A forklift is mainly operated in industries and other related places. The people who use these machines are trained professionals. But sometimes, even with all the training, they can make mistakes that lead to fatal lift accidents.

OSHA found that 25% of forklift accidents are due to inadequate operator training.

Types of Lift Truck Rollovers

Forklift rollovers are one of the most common forklift accidents. They usually happen when the forklift operator is too fast or the load is incorrectly balanced.

Forklifts could roll over when reaching a tipping point. Because of that, it's essential to be careful when operating them.

Carrying simple loads that are too heavy or not properly secured can also cause a forklift to tip over. Improper loading and unloading can also be dangerous and lead to a lift accident.

The leading causes of forklift rollovers include:

  • Speeding
  • Improper loading
  • Inadequate operator training
  • Unbalanced loads
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Failing to follow forklift safety rules

To prevent forklift overturn accidents, operators should always drive slowly (much below posted speed limits) and be aware of their surroundings. They should also ensure that the load is balanced and secure before moving. A forklift should never exceed five miles per hour.

Forklift Tip-Overs

Tipping over is another type of common forklift accident. It can happen when the load is too heavy or the forklift operator moves too fast. It can also occur if the forklift is not balanced correctly or on uneven ground.

The best way to prevent a forklift tip-over is to ensure that the load is not too heavy and that the operator is not speeding. It's also important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid driving on uneven ground.

Pedestrian Impacts

Pedestrian impacts are also a common type of forklift accident. It can happen when the forklift backs up or when the operator turns.

Pedestrians should always be aware of the dangers of working around forklifts and stay out of the way.

The most common way pedestrians are injured in a forklift accident is by being struck by a truck. Forklift trucks can weigh up to 10,000 pounds and cause severe injuries if they hit someone.

To avoid pedestrian impacts, operators should always be aware of their surroundings and never back up or turn around without looking.

Pedestrians should also prevent forklift traffic and never cross in front of moving lift trucks. The forklift drivers should take the floor tape and warning signs seriously.

Operator Error

Forklift accidents can also be caused by operator error. It includes driving too fast, not following safety rules, and being unaware of the surroundings.

Improper training is often a contributing factor to operator error. Forklift operators should be adequately trained before they are allowed to operate a fork truck.

This training should include safety rules, safely loading and unloading cargo, and handling the fork truck in different situations.

Operators should always follow the speed limit and should never drive without looking. They should also be aware of their surroundings and never go to an area with pedestrians.

To prevent operator error:

Falling Loads

Falling loads are one of the common types of lift accidents. It can happen when the elevated load is not secured correctly or the operator is not paying attention. Much of the time, falling loose materials or loads are caused by operator error.

The load backrest on lift trucks is also prone to failure, which can cause the tall load to fall off the car because of decreased visibility and injure people nearby.

A few leading causes of these falls include a lack of aerial lift loads that should be properly secured before moving. The operator should also be aware of using proper equipment. If a load falls, it can cause severe injuries.

To prevent falling loads:

  • Secure the loads properly before they are moved.
  • The operator should be aware of their surroundings and never turn around without looking.

Employers should have a safety program that covers all aspects of forklift operation. It should include proper loading and unloading techniques and securing the load.

Forklift Overturning

The forklift could overturn because the load is too heavy or the operator is moving too fast. Forklift overturns can also occur if the ground is uneven or the forklift is not correctly balanced.

The fork truck's rear wheels and rear axle help to keep it balanced. If the load is too heavy or the operator drives too fast, the rear wheels can come off the ground, and the forklift overturns. It can be hazardous for the operator and anyone in the area.

To prevent tipping over, one should utilize forklift safety features:

  • The load should be evenly distributed and should not be too heavy.
  • The operator should always drive slowly and never turn around on a steep incline.
  • Fork truck operators should only lift, move, or carry balanced loads

Mechanical Failures

Mechanical failure is the most common forklift accident. These accidents can be caused by various factors, such as improper maintenance, poor design, or poor quality control during manufacturing.

One of the most common types of mechanical failure is brake failure. If the brakes on a lift truck fail, it can cause the car to run into an object, leading to severe injuries for the people nearby. Forklift certification is necessary to avoid any lift accidents.

Other mechanical failures include:

  • Engine failures
  • Axle failures and breaks from hauling over the listed weight capacity
  • Steering failures

If one of these components fails, it can cause lift trucks to lose control or even tip over. Following scheduled maintenance routines is crucial to ensure everyone's safety, as adequately using parts approved by the manufacturer to avoid these most common forklift accidents is essential.

The weight capacity of a lift truck is also crucial to consider. Don't exceed your lift's capacity. Also, inspect the load and area before operating the fork truck, don't use equipment until any issues are corrected, and service your safety equipment regularly.

Emission Poisoning

Lift trucks that use diesel fuel can produce poisonous emissions to people. It is primarily a concern in enclosed spaces, such as warehouses, where the fumes can build up and cause people to become sick.

Installing ventilation systems can also help to keep the air clean. Carbon monoxide monitors can also help to warn workers if the air quality has become dangerous.

Incline Driving Leading to Lift Truck Accidents

It happens when a lift truck is driven up an incline like a ramp. It can be dangerous, as the car can lose control and tip over. The uneven surface can also cause the load to shift, leading to an accident.

To avoid these accidents, drive slowly and carefully up an incline. Use a lower gear to maintain control of the truck. Make sure the load is secure and will not shift during transport.

Do not try to drive up an incline that is too steep. Find an alternate route if you are uncomfortable driving up a rise.

Filing an Injured Workers' Compensation Claim for a Forklift Truck Accident

Forklift accidents happen all the time. If you have been injured in a forklift accident, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim. Workers' compensation is insurance that benefits injured or ill employees due to their job.

To file a workers' comp claim, you must prove that your job caused the accident. It can include:

  • Witnesses
  • Photographs
  • Video Footage
  • Medical expenses, bills, and records

You will also need to prove that you were injured due to the accident.

Our lawyers can help you file a workers' compensation claim for your forklift truck accident. We have experience with these cases and can help you get your deserved benefits.

Our accident lawyers will investigate your case and gather evidence to support your claim. We will also help you file the necessary paperwork and represent you during the claims process.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is here to help you get compensation for your forklift-related injury. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 today to schedule a free consultation.

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