Forklifts are an essential tool in factories and warehouses for moving heavy loads and materials. However, forklift accidents can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. According to the most recent data from the National Safety Council (NSC), forklifts caused more than 7,000 nonfatal injuries in 2020 and 70 deaths in 2021.
Here are some of the dangers of forklift accidents in factories:
Operator errors and falls
Many forklift accidents are caused by operator error, such as driving too fast, carrying an unbalanced load or both operators and pedestrians not paying attention to their surroundings. A misstep out of the forklift cab can lead to broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain trauma and more. Workers can fall from forklifts if they are not wearing proper safety gear or if they are not following safety protocols.
Pedestrians on the factory floor usually assume that the forklift operators know what they’re doing and see them – but that can be a dangerous mistake. All workers need to operate in “defensive mode” and be aware of their surroundings, especially when a forklift is in motion.
Forklifts can tip over if they are not operated correctly or if they are carrying an unbalanced load. Tip-overs can cause serious injuries or fatalities to the operator or anyone in the vicinity of the forklift.
Forklifts are supposed to be inspected regularly and maintained properly – but companies sometimes take shortcuts and mistakes can be made. When the equipment fails, however, it’s easy for a worker to get crushed or otherwise injured.
Workers should also take steps to ensure their safety when working with forklifts. This includes being aware of their surroundings, following safety protocols, and wearing proper safety gear. No matter how cautious, however, accidents can happen very easily around factory floors, especially when there’s machinery in motion. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, learning more about your right to workers’ compensation benefits can help you find some stability in your time of need.