Working around any equipment can be dangerous, and a forklift is no exception to that rule. Even if you’ve been well-trained, you could still get injured while operating the device. You could also be injured if someone else is using a forklift around you in your workplace.
It may help to understand exactly how these injuries happen and what types of injuries you could suffer, so let’s consider some of the most common causes.
One risk with a forklift is that it could become too top-heavy and the entire machine could roll. A driver is protected by a cage, but they could still suffer injuries as they move around within the cab or if they fall out of the forklift. This could also be very dangerous to anyone working near the forklift, as the machine itself could strike them or the load that it had lifted could fall on them. In fact, falling loads are another one of the top reasons for forklift accidents, even when the forklift doesn’t roll.
Striking a worker on foot
Another potential issue is if a worker who is on foot near the forklift is hit by the vehicle while it’s being operated. This could happen if the operator doesn’t see the other person behind them, for instance, or if they turn around and strike them because they don’t have very good control over the vehicle. The severity of the injuries from this could vary widely, but even a minor, low-speed impact could lead to broken bones, bruises, lacerations and all sorts of other issues.
The machine falls from another height
In some cases, forklifts have to be driven onto trucks or trailers. This should be done carefully and safely, but any small mistake by the driver could cause the vehicle to fall off of that higher level. This could cause severe injuries for that driver, depending on the distance of the fall, and anyone under the forklift could also be significantly injured. Due to the weight of the machine itself, an accident like this could be fatal.
Have you suffered injuries?
If you’ve been working around a forklift and you’ve suffered serious injuries, from spinal cord injuries to traumatic brain injuries, it’s very important that you understand all the legal options at your disposal.