Forklift accidents kill hundreds of people and seriously injure thousands more every year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces strict requirements on forklift operation as well as other industrial machinery and equipment. These requirements are meant to protect the operator, other workers and the public. Unfortunately, when safety practices are not observed or equipment is faulty individuals can become injured and need the help of a San Francisco personal injury attorney.
Many forklift accidents are the result of a tip – over which is caused by excess loads. When a forklift operator takes on too large a load, he can risk tipping over the forklift. Tip-overs are a common cause of accidents.
Another common cause of forklift accidents is related to visibility, when an operator’s line of vision is blocked by the load, other equipment or even the vehicle itself.
Further, because forklifts do not operate like automobiles and has rear steering, when entering a turn the vehicle swings wide which can result in collisions.
To avoid accidents and injuries operators and employers of forklift operators should observe the following safety practices:
• All operators should be thoroughly trained, evaluated and tested before operating a forklift.
• Do a safety inspection of forklifts before each shift.
• Forklift operators should always wear safety belts to avoid being thrown from the vehicle.
• Never take on a load beyond the forklift’s rated capacity.
• Always secure the load before operating the forklift.
• Always slow down and sound your horn at intersections or areas where vision is obstructed.
• Never drive toward anyone even in an unloaded forklift, the machine cannot stop quickly and could tip or drop debris from the load and injure the person.
• Always place loads as far back as possible to ensure stability.
• Always drive, turn, and stop slowly and smoothly when operating a forklift.
• When operating a forklift on grades, ramps or inclines, slow down to avoid tipping or casting off debris.
Contact Weber & Nierenberg
Contact us online or call 866-288-6010 to schedule a free consultation. We handle all heavy equipment accident injury claims on a contingency basis, which means that we only charge legal fees if we recover compensation for your losses.