Forklift Injuries

July 11, 2018

Each year in the United States, nearly 100,000 people are injured in forklift accidents, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Forklifts weigh up to 9,000 pounds and pose a significant danger to workers. Depending on the circumstances of the workplace accident, workers may suffer a wide range of injuries by powered industrial trucks like forklifts, backloaders, cranes, tractors, and bobcats.

Common Causes of Forklift Accidents

There are many different causes of forklift accidents. Being aware of the most common ones can help prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future. The following are the most common causes of forklift accidents:

  • Inadequate training: When workers are not trained adequately on how to operate forklifts, it can lead to accidents.
  • Time constraints: When workers are expected to complete tasks quickly, it can lead to costly mistakes.
  • Improper maintenance: When forklifts are not properly maintained, they can break or malfunction and cause injury to workers.
  • Hazardous environment: When hazardous environmental conditions are present, such as insufficient ventilation, workers could be exposed to carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust from the forklift.

Common Forklift Injuries

Workers who operate forklifts may suffer a wide range of injuries if something goes wrong. Usually, forklift injuries can be severe due to the large size and heavy weight of the machine. The following are the most common types of forklift injuries:

  • Head and neck injuries: Forklift operators can suffer head injuries when a pallet falls from above or when they hit their head getting in or out. They can also suffer whiplash when there is an unexpected acceleration, stop, or collision.
  • Foot injuries: Workers’ feet can get run over by a forklift or be struck by a heavy falling object. Workers should wear steel toe safety shoes to avoid such injuries.
  • Muscle strains and broken bones: Drivers may be thrown from the forklift in the event of a tip-over. This type of accident typically involves injuries such as shoulder and joint sprains.
  • Hand injuries: Workers must constantly use their hands and if proper precautions are not taken, they can suffer hand injuries, including blisters and broken bones. Proper safety gloves should be worn to avoid such injuries.

Preventing Forklift Accidents

Employers should comply with OSHA guidelines and ensure that their employees have a safe and healthy work environment. The following are some ways to prevent forklift accidents:

  • Employers should designate separate areas for pedestrians and forklifts.
  • Employers should ensure that forklift areas are well lit and the forklift operator has plenty of room to maneuver the vehicle.
  • Employees should never walk underneath a forklift with a raised load.
  • Employees should follow all safety procedures pertaining to forklift operation.

Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers Injured in Forklift Accidents

If you were injured in a forklift accident or another type of workplace accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. This, along with your photographic evidence and report of the accident, will help to support your workers’ compensation claim. The Philadelphia work injury lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.

Our team also provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.