Forklift Operators Workers’ Comp Injury Attorneys
Forklifts are commonly used in the commercial and industrial industries. They are helpful to move heavy cargo throughout a building or construction site and make the logistics of moving materials easier. While forklifts are a useful tool for businesses, they do come with an inherent risk if not used properly or operated by trained workers.
Forklift accidents are one of the most common workplace accidents. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 20,000 people are injured in forklift accidents each year. If you were injured in a forklift accident at work, you are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits.
Forklift Accident Injuries
Forklift accidents can result in a wide range of injuries that can impact a worker’s ability to get back on the job quickly, if at all. Because forklifts are large, heavy vehicles, an accident involving a forklift can cause serious and even catastrophic injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Ligament and tendon damage
- Neck injuries
- Crushed fingers, hands, toes, and feet
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
Forklift accident victims often face weeks of medical treatment for their injuries and can even suffer long-term damage that prohibits their ability to work. If you were injured in a forklift accident and are worried about your next steps, reach out to the team at Dale E. Anstine. You may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits to cover your medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, and pain and suffering.
Common Causes of Forklift Accidents
Forklift accidents can lead to serious injuries. Many forklift accidents are completely preventable with proper training and safety protocols in place. The key to preventing accidents starts with training and requires both the forklift operator and their coworkers to be aware of the most common causes of forklift accidents.
- Speeding: Typically, forklifts can travel up to 18 mph. The faster it is driven increases the risk of an accident. Just like motor vehicles, forklifts can take longer to come to a complete stop when loaded with cargo. Forklift operators driving at a fast speed may have a hard time braking to avoid a collision with an object or bystander.
- Elevated load: Depending on the make and model, forklift load capabilities can range from 3,000 to 70,000+ pounds. When the load is elevated, there is a risk the cargo may fall if not secured properly, or the forklift could tip if the weight isn’t distributed evenly. Elevated loads can result in serious injuries.
- Overworked or stressed operators: When someone is stressed or overworked, they can become careless or distracted. Overworked forklift operators are more likely to be inattentive to their surroundings and cause an accident.
- Improper forklift maintenance: To ensure proper performance, forklifts should be inspected for safety and functionality regularly. In fact, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), requires forklifts to be inspected daily to ensure the forklift doesn’t have any conditions that would adversely affect the safety of the forklift.
- Unsafe Operation: Some forklift accidents happen when the driver doesn’t follow the proper procedures when backing up, turning, or braking, or isn’t operating the vehicle as intended (i.e.: trying to do “tricks”). Unsafe and careless forklift operation can cause a seriousaccident.
- Improper loading: Forklift operators are responsible for the proper loading and unloading of their vehicles. Every forklift has load requirements and instructions, and when they are disregarded, an accident can occur.
- Overturns: An overturn happens when an operator turns too quickly, and the weight of the load overturns the vehicle. This is the most often cited cause of a forklift accident and accounts for 42% of all fatal forklift accidents.
- Improper Training: OSHA requires every lift truck operator to go through a thorough training program before they are allowed to operate a forklift. When the training is skipped, operators do not know how to operate the vehicle properly and safely. A forklift accident caused by improper training is 100% preventable.
Dale E. Anstine, workers’ comp lawyers in York, PA, can help.
If you were injured in a forklift accident at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. A workplace accident can be traumatic and having a fighter on your side, like our workers’comp and personal injury attorneys at Dale E. Anstine, can help relieve some of the stress of the ordeal! Reach out today for a free workers’ comp case evaluation .
For more than four decades we’ve been helping accident victims navigate the personal injury claims process and worker’s comp application and appeals processes. We understand the trauma after an accident can be hard which is why we take on the stress of the legal system for you! Let us handle your claim while you focus on recovery.
We are available anytime and offer a free case evaluation . If you were injured on the job, don’t wait! Contact us today.