Forklift accidents are a common type of workplace accident. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 9,000 workers are injured in forklift accidents every year. Accidents like these may lead to broken bones, severe spinal cord injuries, and even death.
After a forklift accident, you may be wondering who the liable party is, and if you are eligible for compensation for your injuries.
Are Forklifts Dangerous?
A forklift can be dangerous if an employee is not sufficiently trained in how to operate it, or if the person operating it is concerned only with getting the work done quickly and is not paying attention. If a forklift operator is not properly trained, a forklift can pose dangers to the person operating it as well as those working around it.
Common Forklift Accidents
Employees without the proper certification and poor maintenance can contribute to forklift accidents.
Some of the most common forklift accidents include:
- Forklift tip over: If too much is being carried on a forklift, the forklift may tip over. This could lead to a worker being crushed.
- Employees struck by a moving forklift: If not equipped with an automatic signal alarm, an employee may not be aware of an oncoming forklift, in especial in a noisy work environment.
- Falling out of a forklift: It is important for all forklifts to be equipped with seatbelts and grab rails to prevent an employee from falling out.
- Employees struck-by a falling load: Forklifts should be equipped with an “All Falling Object Protection System.” This protects the operator from falling objects.
The way a workplace is set up may also contribute to forklift accidents. Buildings with blind spots, narrow aisles, and support columns can put employees at risk for a forklift injury.
Workers’ Compensation for Victims of Forklift Accidents
Victims of forklift accidents are eligible to receive compensation for their injuries. Workers’ compensation provides benefits for those injured on the job regardless of whether the accident was their fault or not. Employees injured on the job may receive compensation for their past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits.
In some circumstances, non-employer parties may be responsible for an employee’s injuries. For example, when a forklift is defective, the company that manufactured it may be held liable.
Preventing Forklift Accidents
In order to prevent forklift accidents, it is important to make sure that all forklifts are in proper working condition. It is also important that well trained employees are the only ones operating forklifts, and that the forklift being used has been properly maintained.
It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure all employees have the necessary training and equipment they may need when operating a forklift.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Represent Victims Injured in Forklift Accidents
The process of getting compensation for your injuries can be complicated, but you do not have to go through it alone. The South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP will help you get the compensation and peace of mind you deserve. For a free consultation contact us online or call 856-761-3773. Our office is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and we proudly serve clients in the City of Camden and across South Jersey.