Although lift trucks only account for 1% of all warehouse or factory accidents, their effects are often more serious. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates at least 35,000 related injuries each year, with nearly ninety workers killed annually.
The most common type of lift truck accident is rollovers, which involve the trucks rolling over to the side. When this, or any other accident concerning lift trucks happens, it’s best to contact a truck accident lawyer from Strom Law to help you fight for justice and gain adequate compensation.
The Most Common Lift Truck Accidents
What is the most common type of lift truck accident? The number one incident is rollovers, but other events could happen with lift trucks that could cause injuries and damages to people and property. Here are some of the most typical ones:
Lift Truck Rollovers
Lift truck rollovers happen when a forklift falls to its side onto the floor. This is commonly caused by turning too quickly or on an incline, overweight or unbalanced loads, and driving on uneven surfaces.
These incidents can be prevented by setting and following speed limits (especially when rounding corners–it’s best to slow down on these), not exceeding the lift truck’s capacity, being careful when tilting a raised mast, and operating on smooth and even surfaces only (or at least driving with extra caution otherwise).
If you’re driving a lift truck, be sure to always wear your seatbelt. If you ever feel that your vehicle is about to tip over, stay in the seat, brace yourself, and lean away from the point of impact.
Pedestrian impacts are accidents that involve people on foot, particularly those close to lift trucks in motion. The most common is when the vehicle runs over a pedestrian’s foot. These types of events are mainly caused by operator inattention, which can result from carelessness, fatigue, distracted driving, and a lack of warning signs and signals or pedestrians being in areas they’re not supposed to be in.
Pedestrian impacts can be prevented by installing barriers and tapes to separate pedestrian and vehicle traffic, as well as installing wall-mounted mirrors on the premises (especially on blind spots) and adding warning lights and travel alarms.
Lift trucks carry around different loads, and when they carry too much or an uneven amount, there’s a big risk of things falling off, which can lead to injuries and fatalities. Aside from improper loads, these events might be caused by moving the mast too quickly or by bent forks.
To avoid falling loads, it’s best to avoid carrying loose or damaged merchandise and to make sure that the forklift is ready to bear whatever weight it’s meant to.
Lift Truck Falling Off Docks
Lift trucks often need to cross thresholds like docks or trailers, which can be a tricky situation–so much so that trucks falling off one one side of a dock is one of the most common accidents.
These incidents are often caused by slippery surfaces, worn or damaged wheels, and improper or a lack of dock plates. Be sure to inspect the truck and dock surfaces before moving loads and to check that dock plates are properly placed and rated for the weight of the truck and its load.
What to Do if You’re Injured in a Lift Truck Accident
What happens when a truck driver has an accident? If you’re injured in a lift truck accident, the first thing to do is to seek medical attention. Then, you should notify your employer about the accident right away and seek help from a truck accident lawyer from Strom Law. A truck accident attorney can help you obtain adequate workers’ compensation and fight disputes that may arise with your employer.
If you believe that your employer isn’t adopting the necessary protections to keep your workplace safe from lift truck accidents, you may also file a complaint with OSHA and consult your lawyer about what options are available to you in this regard.
Contact Strom Law Truck Accident Lawyers
Strom Law has been fighting for victims of truck accidents in South Carolina for years. We can help you seek justice and get the right compensation for any injuries or damages you’ve experienced after a lift truck accident. Contact us for a consultation today!