Forklifts are extremely dangerous and risky to have in any workplace. This is because they are being used in and around other workers who are walking on foot. Forklifts are heavy, they move quickly and they can crush unsuspecting pedestrians, killing them or causing catastrophic injuries in a heartbeat.
Because of the risks associated with forklift use in workplaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has created strict regulations for training forklift operators and for governing the way forklifts may be used. However, catastrophic accidents still happen, and here are the seven ways they usually do:
- As a result of poor driver training, many forklift operators don't know how to react in different, potentially dangerous, job-related circumstances that may arise.
- As a result of driving a forklift too fast after the operator becomes overly comfortable with the ease of driving a forklift and navigating obstacles. OSHA recommends that operators never exceed 5 miles per hour.
- As a result of carrying too heavy a load, forklifts can become off balance and even flip over, causing serious injuries to passersby.
- As a result of bad turning technique, a forklift could flip.
- As a result of failing to provide warnings and markings that indicate the areas that forklifts drive, and where forklifts could be present and in operation, pedestrians might not be on alert for these dangerous machines.
- As a result of irresponsibly letting another worker ride on a forklift, or ride on a load being carried by a forklift. This is exceedingly dangerous.
- As a result of choosing the wrong style of forklift for a particular job, dangers could be increased for employees.
California companies with forklifts need to take care to keep their workers safe from injury. If a serious injury or death does happen as a result of a forklift accident, injured parties and family members of deceased workers will be able to pursue workers' compensation benefits to assist them through their difficulties.
Source: National Forklift Exchange, "7 Most Common Causes of Lift Truck Accidents," Tom Reddon, accessed Aug. 11, 2017