In retail settings, factories, distribution centers and many other businesses, forklifts allow workers to move heavy weights more effectively and efficiently. Workers can use a forklift to more effectively stack and store products, lift heavier weights and move these items more quickly through a warehouse or distribution center. Unfortunately, forklifts can often be a danger to the same employees that they help in these workplace settings.
How can a forklift accident injure workers?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that forklift injuries harm thousands of people each year. Accidents involving a forklift can include:
- Tipping—Improperly loading a forklift, ineffectively restraining the load or using a forklift that is too small for the weight placed on it can cause the forklift to tip. Forklifts tipping over are some of the most dangerous accidents, causing nearly half of forklift-related fatalities.
- Crushing—Because of their size, speed and unique steering requirements, employees that lack proper training or miscalculate when driving can leave other workers crushed between the forklift and another object.
- Falling items—While forklifts can help employees lift items onto higher shelves, that same height can also put workers at risk if an item falls from the forklift or if the forklift strikes a shelf and causes items high on the shelf to fall.
- Falls from a platform—Often, warehouse settings require forklifts to elevate workers as well as products. If those employees fall from the platform, they can suffer serious injuries.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a forklift accident, you may face significant medical bills, time away from work to recover or other costs. However, you do not need to face this burden alone. Workers compensation may offer you the support you need.