Common Forklift Related Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Forklifts are large pieces of machinery. It is for this reason that they are inevitably dangerous and should be taken seriously in regards to their operation. According to the OSHA, there are about 110,000 forklift accidents every year. Forklift incidents resulting in injuries, damaged goods, and even fatalities are not uncommon.

Although sometimes forklift incidents sometimes come as a result of environmental factors or forklift malfunctions, they most often occur as a result of neglect. If the operator isn’t properly trained, if the operator is neglecting the necessary safety percussions, or if the forklift has not been properly inspected, it then becomes a high-risk situation for accidents. Avoiding forklift accidents starts with recognizing what they are and educating oneself on how to avoid them.

  1. Crush injuries
    Crush injuries can occur due to moving parts of a forklift, as well as a result of forklifts tipping over. While forklifts are top heavy with a raised load, it is in this circumstance that they become even more at risk for tipping over. In lucky situations, a tipping forklift results in property damage, but in worst case scenarios, a falling forklift leads to major injuries and even fatalities. It is important that the operator of the forklift does not try and jump away from the tipping forklift but rather grab onto the steering wheel, plant their feet, lift their head and body away from the ground, and brace for impact.
  2. Hitting pedestrians
    Hitting of pedestrians most commonly occurs when a forklift driver has low visibility due to the environment or that the forklift is busy carrying a heavy load. Other reasons are the driver is distracted, tired, or not properly trained. Forklift operators should be cautious of carrying loads that obstruct their visibility and should be properly trained and aware of the risks of distracted and fatigued driving.
  3. Being struck by falling items
    The process of lifting and moving large objects can be dangerous, even when executed properly. Unbalanced loads can lead to falling objects which can hit and severely injure anyone near the forklift. To avoid this type of incident, any forklift load should be double checked to make sure that it is balanced safely.
  4. Falling from the forklift
    Forklift drivers who are properly educated know that no other person should ever ride on the forklift in addition to the driver. All too often people who are riding along on the forklift end up injuring themselves. This should be avoided at all times.
  5. Running into obstructions while driving the forklift
    Whenever there is low visibility of any sort, due to surroundings, weather elements, or a heavy load, a driver is at risk for running into debris or obstructions in their pathway. Hitting objects can lead to the tipping of forklifts and is another reason safety practices should always be in place.

Forklift safety should never be taken lightly, which is why it so important to stay educated on the subject. When it comes to forklifts in Dallas, here at Ace Equipment, we know our stuff. If you have any questions about forklift rentals, purchases, or servicing, we would be happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.