Developed in the early 20th century, forklift trucks have become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehouse operations. In 2013, nearly 1 million forklift trucks were sold worldwide.
Although popular in manufacturing and warehouse operations, forklifts may be used at mining sites, in retail, construction sites, and even large hotels where goods are often dropped off on a daily basis. As more and more industries turn to powered industrial trucks, improper use of these vehicles is becoming too common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 100 workers are killed each year due to forklift-related incidents. Additionally, about 20,000 workers are seriously injured. About 1 in 6 workplace deaths are forklift-related; of all machinery including drilling machines and cranes, forklifts lead the way in fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a forklift accident caused by a negligent employer or employee, the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.
Types of Forklift Accidents
It is estimated that 90 percent of forklifts while be involved in some type of accident during their “lifespan”. In the United States more than 11 percent of forklifts will be involved in an accident each year.
Some common types of forklift incidents include:
- Vehicle overturn
- Worker on foot struck by forklift
- Victim crushed
- Fall from forklift
According to the CDC, forklift overturns and workers being struck on foot are the most common type of accidents that lead to fatalities.
Causes of Forklift Accidents
In 1999, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed the Final Rule for Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training which set a standard for operator training and licensing. OSHA requires that drivers be at least 18 years of age; drivers under the age of 24 are involved in about 8 percent of forklift-related accidents.
Some other common causes of forklift accidents besides lack of experience include:
- Vehicle malfunction
- Lack of training
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Lack of safety procedures in place
When an employer or employee fails to adhere to safety standards set forth by OSHA, it can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Additionally, employers should always have a plan of action in place in case an accident occurs.
Contact our Forklift Accident Attorneys Today
Forklift accidents can happen in an instant and although employees handling these powered vehicles understand how dangerous they are, many are ill prepared in handling in accident if it happens. At The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, we understand how devastating accidents with this type of machinery can be and believe that you or loved ones injured in forklift accidents should receive the compensation they deserve.
Our knowledgeable team of attorneys are experienced in handling workers’ compensation claims and can help you fight for your rights. Along with legal counsel we can help to guide you through the claims and litigation process.
Our primary offices are located in O’Fallon and Charleston, Illinois and we also proudly serve workers’ compensation claimants in St. Louis, Missouri. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us at 855-522-5291 for a no-fee, no-obligation initial consultation.