In the United States, there are over 1 million active forklifts, and approximately 1.5 million operators and unarguably, we have become the largest lift distributors globally. Each year, the logistics, warehouse and manufacturing industries continue to grow every year, and industrial trucks are here to stay for a long time. However, the sad part is that where heavy machinery comes in, accidents are prone to occur. According to OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), nearly 100,000 people in the United States encounter accidents and die.
Forklifts come in use frequently in warehousing and construction areas. Workers in these industries are at constant risk of injuries due to inadequate standards of safety, insufficient employee training, poor maintenance of their equipment and various other causes. OSHA always sets regulations to ensure the safest working conditions, but accidents could result from the inattentive operation, improper training, and malfunctioning forklift equipment.
The Causes of Forklift Related Injuries and Accidents
As you know forklifts are high powered industrial vehicles that help most workers to move and lift heavy loads. However, these trucks also pose some harm. From our experience at Truck Forklifts, we would like to guide you on some of the common forklift accidents.
If you overload the forklift, chances are it will tip over. As such, nearby employees are likely to crush or even die in extreme cases by the forklift. Forklifts are heavy equipment and they can weigh about 5-10 thousand pounds. Furthermore, it can be as a result of the load falling and hitting nearby pedestrians.
To ensure they function properly, forklifts must go through regular servicing and maintenance. If maintained inadequately, they will malfunction and this can cause injuries to workers. It is advised that you get them checked regularly.
Falling Objects Striking Workers
Materials and objects that are not secure are likely to fall onto workers, which can cause serious health injuries. Sometimes, the objects may be at a high level and once hitting workers, it can also lead to brain injuries and internal injuries. Keep in mind, according to OSHA being struck by any object comes as one of the common causes of fatalities.
In the manufacturing design of the forklift, if there are any design flaws, this can pose to be extremely dangerous. Due to the defective parts of the forklift, the workers can have injuries and could be a reason to sue the manufacturer.
Unsafe and Poor Operations
If workers do not have adequate training and allowed to operate the forklift, this can injure them and lead to chances of others in the area experiencing problems or possible injuries. In addition, they can also injure themselves.
Tips on How to Prevent Forklift Accidents
In most cases, OSHA encourages employers to implement and follow the best tips to prevent forklift accidents by sticking to safety guidelines and other procedures pertaining to their maintenance operation. Some of the best ways to prevent these accidents include:
- You should check the wheels of the forklift
- Check the engine, hydraulics and the brakes regularly
- Equip the forklifts with any overhead masts
- Examine the forklift before you use it
- The controls should have clear displays
- The working areas should have adequate lighting
- Encourage operators to go through proper forklift training
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