National Forklift Safety Day

June 10, 2019

June 11, 2019 is National Forklift Safety Day. For the sixth year in a row, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) will host the event, which is designed to bring awareness to the importance of forklift operation safety and operator training. Forklift accidents injure nearly 100,000 workers in the U.S. each year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. proudly represent workers who were injured in forklift accidents throughout the state.

Forklift Hazards

Forklifts, or powered industrial trucks, are used to move heavy materials in various industries such as construction and manufacturing. Some common hazards associated with forklifts include:

  • Loading and unloading – Those who operate forklifts may become injured or may injure other workers in the process of loading or unloading materials. Workers may also be injured by falling loads that were inadequately secured.
  • Hazardous materials – Forklift operators frequently transport hazardous materials. If not stored or handled properly, workers may develop various occupational illnesses.
  • Vehicle maintenance – If regular maintenance is not performed on forklifts, they may malfunction, causing injury to workers either operating the truck or those in the vicinity. Also, forklift mechanics must take precaution when changing fluids, refueling, servicing electric batteries, and handling other hazardous chemicals.
  • Training – OSHA reports that overturns are the leading type of forklift accidents, accounting for approximately 25 percent of all forklift-related deaths. Often, these accidents occur because a worker was not adequately trained to operate the forklift.

Forklift Safety Tips

Forklift manufacturers will have the opportunity to emphasize the importance of forklift safety at the annual National Forklift Safety Day. The following are some general safety tips for working with or around forklifts:

  • Be aware of surroundings, pedestrians, and other workers
  • Check blind spots, honk the horn, and employ spotters before proceeding
  • Do not jump from an overturning forklift
  • Do not overload the forklift and make sure the load is centered
  • Enforce safe driving practices
  • Establish a vehicle inspection and maintenance program
  • Implement a written safety program
  • Inform workers of common forklift hazards and train them on safe practices
  • Inspect the forklift before beginning work
  • Load and operate trucks with consideration for the stability triangle, or the truck’s center of gravity
  • Make sure workers do not walk underneath raised loads
  • Never allow workers to stand on the forks or a pallet to work at elevated heights
  • Only allow trained and authorized workers to operate forklifts
  • Supply an eyewash station for employees who perform any battery servicing beyond routine charging
  • Turn engine off when inside to prevent potential carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Turn off unattended forklifts (when operator is 25 feet or more away)
  • Wear a seatbelt when operating a forklift
  • When driving on an incline, ensure that the load is on the uphill side and drive slowly

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Assist Workers in Obtaining Benefits for Forklift Injuries

If you were injured in a workplace forklift accident, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help you get the benefits to which you are entitled, including medical expense and wage loss compensation. Contact us online or call 888-PITT-LAW today for a free consultation.

We proudly represent injured workers in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery CountyPhiladelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum Lynne, DarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssington, FolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion StationMorton, Narberth, Norristown, NorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect Park, QuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.