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Avoiding deadly forklift accidents

Whether you work in a warehouse, on a factory dock or spend your days loading and unloading semi-trucks, driving a forklift is as common a task as packing your lunch. Did you realize, however, that accidents involving forklifts often result in catastrophic or fatal injuries?

According to OSHA estimates, forklift accidents account for about 85 fatalities, 34,900 serious injuries and 61,800 non-serious injuries each year. The majority of the fatalities are typically caused by the driver being crushed by a forklift that tips over. Fatalities can also be caused by people being crushed between two vehicles, crushed between the vehicle and a wall or storage rack, and being struck or run over by a forklift.

What can you do to prevent these devastating accidents?

There are numerous safety measures in place to prevent forklift accidents - and the gap in safety measures is usually minimized by training and common sense.

Most often, accidents are caused by the forklift tipping over. This danger can be reduced by carrying the load as low as possible. An elevated load can reduce the stability of the vehicle. It is not uncommon for a forklift to tip over and the driver to be crushed while trying to escape the vehicle.

The main point, then, is twofold:

  1. Ensure that your load is carried as low as possible to increase the forklift's stability.
  2. If the forklift does begin to tip over, don't try to escape the protective cage.

If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you might be entitled to recover monetary compensation. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can answer your questions and guide you through this complex legal process.

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