Knowing the potential pitfalls for forklifts and practising safe operating procedures can help drivers avoid accidents and injuries. Driving slowly with the load lowered also improves visibility and reduces forklift injuries. With proper training and safety protocols, it is possible to operate a forklift correctly and safely and prevent preventable workplace injuries and fatalities. Serious injuries occur when the operator is suddenly ejected from the forklift or crushed by the vehicle or its load.
Head injuries and muscle sprains are the “best” outcomes; dozens of people die from forklift related injuries every year so correct health and safety training is so important.
Forklift trucks only account for around 1% of warehouse and factory accidents but the severity of the injuries means that it accounts for 10% of all physical injuries in that environment.
To get a proper breakdown please check out this website but many of these could be prevented if companies implemented more rigorous training. Workers are susceptible to back and neck pain caused by poor posture when sitting in a forklift for long periods of time.
Other factors that can affect workplace safety and lead to forklift accidents include the condition and design features of the forklifts themselves, the nature of the load, and a work environment where there are many pedestrians and a lot going on.
Data from OSHA
Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shows that these industrial trucks are involved in nearly 100 deaths and 20,000 work-related injuries each year. However, compliant forklift certification training will help companies educate their employees about common forklift injuries and accidents.
For example, any load that is higher than the centre of gravity is unstable and unbalanced and tends to pull down everything it is attached to. Some of the main causes of these accidents are lack of lifts, unsecured or unapproved lifts and prioritising convenience and speed over safety. Simple things like these will save lives.
These accidents can be fatal, but they can be prevented if lift operators know how to recognise and mitigate workplace hazards.