Kansas City Workers Comp Attorney on Preventing Forklift Accidents

Forklift accidents often result in serious and life-threatening injuries. Here’s why employee education is so important.

forklift accidents kansas city

Forklift accidents are a major cause of workplace injuries, especially in the construction sector and industrial warehouses.  In this post, our work accident lawyer will discuss some of the main causes of forklift-related accidents and how to prevent them.

Preventing Forklift Tip-Overs

A forklift is top-heavy especially when it is loaded. If the driver is distracted or inexperienced, he can make a wrong move that can cause the vehicle to tip. If this happens, many drivers instinctively jump off the truck to save themselves and often get severely injured in the process. The forklift weighing several tons or even a part of it can land on the driver and cause severe injuries and even death.

Some precautions that can help reduce the risk of forklift tip-over include:

•    The driver should turn at a low speed and maintain a constant speed throughout the complete turn. The driver should rotate the steering wheel slowly and smoothly.
•    During operation, the driver should lower the forks and keep them tilted back in order to stabilize the loads. Remember, if loads are angled too backward or forward, it can cause a tip over.
•    It is important to adhere to the maximum load limits of the forks.
•    Unstable loads should not be moved.

Every driver should be trained well, and before letting him start work, it should be ensured that the driver is fully capable of avoiding tip-overs.

Why Employee Education is Important

It is important for the employer and supervisors to monitor employees properly, and reinforce responsible behavior. Some people find forklifts exciting and fun to drive. This often leads to horseplay on the job. If the employer or supervisor notices any irresponsible behavior, it should be addressed immediately. Forklift drivers must understand that even a small distraction or negligence on their part can put their life and that of their co-workers and others at risk.

Forklifts are by nature heavy and unstable, and even the most experienced of drivers can make mistakes. Failure to operate machinery carefully and responsibly can be the perfect recipe for a disaster.

Protecting Co-Workers and Pedestrians

Just like any other driver, even a forklift operator is responsible for avoiding pedestrians, who have the right of way. The driver must make every possible effort to avoid a pedestrian even if the person is directly in his path. It is important to bear in mind that pedestrians and co-workers are not always paying attention to the way they should be. It is therefore important that the forklift operator look carefully in the direction in which the truck is moving and if he comes across a blind spot or intersection, he should blow the horn to warn pedestrians. Employees should be advised against walking under the forklifts.

Have You Been Injured?

Forklift accidents often result in serious and life-threatening injuries. If a worker gets injured in a forklift accident at the workplace, he/she may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, get in touch with an experienced Kansas City Work Injury Attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We have been assisting injured workers in Missouri for over 20 years and help you receive the benefits you are entitled to under Missouri law.

Call (816) 399-3706 for a free case evaluation

Updated: August 23, 2019

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