In warehouse and production settings, forklifts are a key tool for employees. However, this machinery can also lead to the risk of accidents both for those operating the forklift and for those working around it. What accidents might you experience when working with or around forklifts?

Rollovers

When a forklift tips over, it can put both the operator and others in the area at serious risk. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that overturned forklifts account for 22 percent of forklift-related fatalities. A wide variety of factors can contribute to forklift rollovers, including:

  • Holding a load high above the ground, either when stationery or in motion
  • Driving with an unbalanced load
  • Driving over uneven surfaces, slopes or ledges
  • Collisions with other vehicles
  • Driving too quickly, especially when taking tight turns

Forklift collisions

Just like other vehicles, forklifts have the potential to collide with hazards during operation. Collisions with other forklifts in a facility can lead to rollovers, falls or employees being caught between the vehicles. A forklift running into pallet racking can lead heavy objects to fall from a height. Collisions with unprotected employees around the forklift can be especially dangerous.

Falls from a height

Forklifts do not only lift pallets, equipment and inventory in a production setting. In some cases, an employer might use a forklift and lifting cage to help employees reach higher levels during their work. Unfortunately, falls from these heights can be dangerous and account for around one in ten forklift-related fatalities according to OSHA.

Forklift accidents, like many other accidents experienced by workers operating heavy machinery, can seriously impact a worker’s health and their ability to provide for their family. Workers compensation can offer support as they recover from their injuries.