Forklifts are common on construction sites, in warehouses, on loading docks and in many other occupations. When you need a heavy load moved quickly and efficiently, a forklift can be the perfect solution.
Unfortunately, forklifts are also very dangerous to both their operators and other people around them. According to the National Safety Council’s review of the available data, forklifts were the cause of 70 workplace deaths in 2021 alone, and they were behind 7,290 injuries that led to missed work in 2020.
What kind of injuries do forklifts cause?
Forklifts are such a regular presence that people often forget that they’re really high-powered vehicles that can cause a lot of damage. Some of the most common injuries associated with them include:
- Crush injuries: When forklifts collide with people or objects, body parts or objects can be caught between the forklift and another surface, such as another truck or a wall. Crush injuries can cause severe damage to bones, muscles and internal organs, leaving victims with permanent disabilities.
- Struck-by injuries: These injuries occur when a person is hit by a forklift or by an object that falls from the forklift – like a lopsided box or an unstable load. Struck-by injuries can range from minor bruises and cuts to serious head injuries and broken bones.
- Overturned forklifts: Forklifts can tip over due to unbalanced loads or when they are driven too quickly around corners or on uneven ground. These are a leading cause of forklift-related fatalities, as the operator and any passengers can be thrown from the vehicle or crushed by the weight of the forklift.
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrian accidents occur when a forklift collides with a person who is walking or standing nearby. These accidents can happen when the forklift operator fails to see the pedestrian or when the pedestrian accidentally walks into the path of the forklift. Broken bones, back injuries and head trauma are common with these.
If you’ve been hurt in a forklift accident or your loved one was killed on the job in one, you have legal rights. Learning more about workers’ compensation benefits and your other options for redress here in Pennsylvania can help.