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Could you experience these common forklift accidents?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Forklifts are essential tools in warehouses, construction sites, and various industrial settings. They play a crucial role in moving pallets and boxes around facilities and assisting workers in handling loads that are too heavy or large to lift manually.

However, using forklifts also involves substantial risks. According to the National Safety Council, almost 25,000 workers suffered injuries from forklift-related accidents in 2022. These accidents often take four common forms.

Forklift overturns

One of the most severe types of forklift accidents is when a forklift tips over or rolls over. These incidents can occur due to improper turning, operating the forklift with a raised load or driving on an uneven surface. Overturns can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities.

Forklift collisions

Forklifts operate in busy environments where pedestrians and other vehicles are often present. Serious or fatal accidents can occur when a forklift strikes a worker or visitor. These collisions are often due to poor visibility, distractions or miscommunication.

Collisions with shelving, buildings or other structures can also lead to serious injuries as well as property damage. Shelves can collapse or heavy boxes can fall, putting those nearby in danger.

Falling loads

If loads are not properly secured or off balance, they may fall during forklift operations. Such accidents can harm not just the operators, but also other workers nearby. The injuries caused by these accidents can range from minor bruises and cuts to severe head injuries and fractures.

Driving off loading docks

About around 7 percent of forklift accidents involve the vehicle driving off loading docks. These incidents can be due to operator error, the lack of adequate safety barriers at dock edges, unsecured trailers, or dock doors left open without a trailer in place.

Workers injured in forklift incidents often incur substantial medical costs. They may need long-term care or rehabilitation. They may also bear the burden of these costs while unable to work. Workers’ compensation benefits support workers as they recover from their injuries.