What Is the Most Common Type of Lift Truck Accident?
You 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 construction 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 most 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 if they are 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 type of lift truck accident. Pedestrians are involved in 70% of all fatal forklift accidents.
Powered industrial trucks, such as lift trucks, are interested 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. The forklift injuries can also be severe and even life-threatening.
Studies show that operators' workplace injuries and non-workplace lift truck injuries make up a significant portion of the total number of lift truck accidents.
Between 2013 and 2016, 2,660 injuries requiring workers' compensation insurance benefits were attributed to lifting trucks.
These 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 lift truck accidents:
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
The other workplace injuries may also account for a portion of the total, resulting in permanent disability and several other issues.
Even if your 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.
Many employers provide it 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.
How to Prevent Forklift Accidents
Forklift operators should be adequately trained and certified. (CDC) says that most fatal lift truck accidents happen when a forklift crushes a worker, overturns or falls from a loading dock.
Forklift operators should also be aware of their surroundings and never operate lift trucks in crowded areas. If possible, industrial trucks’ or lift truck 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 made aware of them.
Employers should also ensure that the workplace is kept 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 the most important step an employer can take to protect employees from forklift accidents. An OSHA study found that 25% of forklift accidents were caused by inadequate training, but far more mistakes might be prevented with adequate employer investment.
What Is the Most Common Type of Lift Truck Accident
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 types of lift truck accidents.
OSHA found that 25% of forklift accidents are due to inadequate operator training.
Forklift rollovers are one of the most common forklift accidents while operating a forklift. They usually happen when the forklift operator is going too fast or when the load is not balanced correctly.
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 truck accident.
The leading causes of rollover accidents are:
- Improper loading
- Unbalanced loads
- Uneven surfaces
To prevent rollover accidents, operators should always drive slowly and be aware of their surroundings. They should also ensure that the load is balanced and secure before moving it. The speed limits for a forklift should never exceed five mph.
Tipping over is another type of common fork truck accident. It can happen when the load is too heavy or when the operator is 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 going the speed limit. It's also important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid driving on uneven ground.
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 should always stay out of the way.
The most common way for pedestrians to be injured in a forklift accident is by being struck by a truck. Forklift trucks can weigh up to 10,000 pounds and cause serious 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.
Forklift accidents can also be caused by operator error. It includes things like 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 properly trained before they are allowed to operate a fork truck.
This training should include safety rules, safely loading and unloading cargo, and how to handle 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 should never go to an area with pedestrians.
To prevent operator error:
- Employers should provide proper training to their employees.
- Companies should develop and implement a workplace safety program covering all aspects of forklift operation.
Falling loads are one of the common types of lift truck 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 of the leading causes of these falls include a lack of aerial lifts loads that should be properly secured before they are moved. The operator should also be aware of using proper equipment. If a load falls, it can cause severe injuries to anyone.
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 how to secure the load.
The forklift could overturn because the load is too heavy or the operator is too fast. Forklift overturns can also occur if the ground is uneven or if the forklift is not correctly balanced.
The rear wheels and rear axle of the fork truck 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 a forklift from tipping over, one should keep an eye on below forklift safety features:
- Load should be evenly distributed and should not be too heavy
- The operator should always drive slow and never turn around on a steep incline
- Fork truck operators should only lift, move, or carry balanced loads
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 something, leading to severe injuries for the people nearby. Forklift certification is necessary to avoid any lift truck accident.
Other mechanical failures include:
- Engine failures
- Axle failures
- Steering failures
If one of these components fails, it can cause lift trucks to lose control or even tip over.
It is essential to maintain your forklift safety and adequately use parts approved by the manufacturer to avoid these most common forklift accidents. 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.
Lift trucks that use diesel fuel can produce fewer 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.
It happens when a lift truck is driven up an incline, such as 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, make sure to drive slowly and carefully when going 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 do not feel comfortable driving up a rise.
Filing an Injured Workers' Compensation Claim for a Forklift Truck Accident
If you have been injured in a forklift truck accident, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim. Workers' compensation is insurance that benefits employees who are injured or become ill due to their job.
To file a workers' compensation claim, you must prove that your job caused the accident. It can include
- 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.