Often, when someone thinks of a forklift, they imagine a small industrial truck that is used to transport and pick up items in warehouses or factories. Unfortunately, lift trucks are very dangerous machines that can cause injuries and even death.
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There are several different types of accidents that can occur with forklifts, including rolling over and getting crushed. These are some of the most serious, and they can result in severe and permanent injury to workers.
Forklift Rollovers – This type of forklift accident can be extremely fatal to a person, especially when they are thrown from the vehicle or caught in front of it. It is also the most common cause of fatal forklift accidents, accounting for a third of all deaths in the lift truck industry.
Crushing Pedestrians – This is another extremely common and deadly forklift accident that happens frequently in the workplace. Pedestrians are often not paying enough attention to what is around them, which can lead to them being hit by or pinned between a forklift and an object.
Mechanical Failure – When an industrial forklift malfunctions, it can be very dangerous for the operator or others on the job site. It could be an issue with the mechanical parts of the machine or even the equipment it uses to operate.
Improper Operating Procedures – Inexperienced or untrained operators can cause 56% of all forklift accidents, which makes proper training crucial. This includes knowing how to load and unload the truck properly, as well as operating safely on a slippery floor or an elevated surface.
Excessive Speed – If an operator is driving at excessive speeds, it can be very dangerous for them and anyone else on the site. It is important for them to drive slowly and keep the load as low as possible to increase the stability of their truck.
Incorrect Turns – When an operator turns the lift truck, they should come to a complete stop before switching directions. This is to avoid tipping the vehicle over or hitting a person or object, which can be very dangerous.
Emissions Poisoning – Forklifts can emit carbon monoxide, which can be very hazardous to workers and the operators who use them. It is vital for industrial truck operators to maintain their machines and regularly check for exhaust leaks and fuel mixtures.
Forklift Overturns – When the load on a forklift is too heavy or an operator drives too fast, the back wheels can come off the ground and the lift truck can overturn. This can be very dangerous for the operator and anyone on the site, especially when the forklift is traveling up a steep incline or down a sloping slope.
Fortunately, many of these incidents can be avoided with simple steps like proper training and good safety measures. Businesses and employers need to take the time to invest in effective training, clear signage, floor tape, and other safety measures that can prevent these accidents from occurring in the first place.