4 Common forklift related injuries and how to avoid them

Unfortunately, it has been estimated that thousands of people are injured by forklifts every year. Additionally, most of these injuries are due to negligence on the part of the forklift operator, meaning they can be prevented. Hence, learning how to avoid these injuries is a key part of a forklift operator’s training. Nonetheless, even the most competent forklift operator can make mistakes.

Of these thousands of injuries, the four most common include crush injuries, pedestrian accidents, falling from a forklift, and hitting or running into objects or people while operating a forklift. Below we will identify these scenarios and explain how they can be avoided.

  1. Crush Injuries:
    • It’s frighteningly easy to tip a forklift by lifting a load that is too heavy or loading something improperly.
    • When this happens, property damage can incur, but also, the driver or pedestrians can be crushed by the load.
    • The operator can be crushed by a tipping forklift when they attempt to jump out as the forklift and they cannot get clear in time.
    • We recommend that instead of trying to jump to safety, the operator should hold onto the forklift’s steering wheel, brace for impact with their feet and lean their head and body away from the ground.
    • Simultaneously, operators should inform, to the best of their ability in the moment, to anyone around about what is happening.
    • Remember, you may not see the pedestrian beneath you when the forklift is tipping.
  2. Pedestrian Accidents:
    • Pedestrians can still be seriously injured if they are hit by a forklift as it is driving.
    • The main cause is poor visibility for the operator due to a large load.
    • All forklift operators should avoid carrying any load in a way that obstructs their vision, even if it means raising or lowering the load to keep a clear line of sight.
  3. Falling from a Forklift:
    • Any qualified forklift operator should know that nobody should ever actually ride on a forklift with a load, and when they do, many of these people fall from forklifts and injure themselves.
    • No matter how unbalanced a load may be or how sturdy a forklift may appear, non-operators should never ride a forklift.
    • Always adjust any load that appears unbalanced before it’s carried on a forklift.
    • To prevent hurting bystanders, any load that is carried by a forklift should be checked and double-checked to make sure that it is safely balanced.
    • Lastly, even when a load appears safe, pedestrians should keep their distance from the forklift while it’s in motion.
  4. Running into and Hitting: People and Objects while Driving
    • This happens because it can be difficult to see where one is going on a forklift, hitting debris and other obstructions sometimes happen.
    • All areas where a forklift may be in operation should be kept clear of any possible obstacles.
    • Never take a forklift it is not supposed to go.

Another important aspect to preventing forklift related injuries is its maintenance. If your forklift is out of date for inspections, it may have faulty parts, and will not function as it should leading to catastrophic consequences. For all your forklift safety and company needs in Dallas Forth Worth, Texas, areas, contact us at Ace Equipment today!