Workers' Compensation blog

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Forklift safety is a critical concern

On behalf of Mitchell Law Corporation
September 20, 2019

Did you know that forklift accidents take dozens of lives every year? One report claimed that 96 people lost their lives in these accidents in 2015. It also noted that forklift accidents led to around 35,000 injuries every single year that could be deemed serious. If you add in the non-serious injuries, you have another 62,000 annual cases.

Forklifts are a part of daily life for many workers, but it’s clear that the risks are high. With an average of almost two workers dying per week in the United States, along with thousands of serious injuries, employees may face far more danger than they realize.

How can businesses prevent these devastating accidents? A few steps that can go a long way include:

  • Doing checkups on all forklifts and related equipment before every single use. Workers should never take it for granted that the forklift is still in good condition just because it was in the past.
  • Offering workers proper training. They cannot work safely with heavy equipment if they have never been trained to do so.
  • Teaching the basic rules of forklift operation. For instance, operators should always make sure they have an unobstructed view and use spotters when necessary.
  • Teaching operators about load weights and maximum weight levels. Many accidents happen because operators unwittingly try to take on a job that the forklift was never designed to be able to do in the first place.

Even when these considerations are made, accidents will happen. The families of workers who suffer serious injuries or pass away on the job need to know what options they have.

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