Workers Can Be Seriously Injured by Forklifts

May 26, 2015

When you work in a warehouse, in a retail store or on a construction site, or in any occupation that requires moving heavy objects from one location to another, chances are that you will find yourself around forklifts, also called “powered industrial trucks.” The Occupational Safety & Health Administration requires that employers “develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe truck operation, the types of vehicle(s) being used in the workplace, the hazards of the workplace created by the use of the vehicle(s), and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard,” but does not require a specific kind of license. Furthermore, how employers choose to fulfill this training course is up to those employers: all OSHA demands is that the training is provided every three years, and that all trainees pass a practical evaluation before being allowed to operate a powered industrial truck.

For that reason, forklift operators and other employees could be at additional risk of an injury if their employer’s training program is not strong. A forklift injury can be very serious; in fact, almost 100 people die in forklift accidents ever year. Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Being crushed by a vehicle which has tipped over onto an employee
  • Being crushed between the forklift and another surface, including the floor, a wall and another forklift
  • Being hit by or run over by a forklift, leading to broken bones, lacerations and bruising
  • Having heavy objects fall onto employees after the objects were improperly loaded and/or stored by the forklift
  • Falling out of the side of the forklift
  • Sustaining whiplash if the forklift slams into an object too hard

Before operating any heavy machinery, your employer is supposed to supply you with proper safety equipment, such as safety harnesses, hard hats, reflective vests and/or goggles. If you were not given the appropriate safety equipment and then suffered an injury at a Philadelphia workplace because of a forklift, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, you may also be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit for additional compensation.

If you were hurt in a forklift accident, call the Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers of Larry Pitt & Associates. We have helped thousands of people obtain the help they need to recover after a workplace injury. To schedule a free consultation, please contact one of our multiple offices serving clients in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.