Forklift Accidents

Forklift accidents can cause severe and fatal injuries. The majority of these accidents are preventable when operators are properly trained and everyone involved, including bystanders, follows proper safety protocols. According to Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 85 people are killed in forklift accidents each year, and nearly 35,000 are seriously injured. More than 40% of forklift fatalities involve forklift tip overs.

Common Forklift Accidents

Common types of forklift accidents include:

  • Tip over
  • Load falling from forklift
  • Falls from forks when forklifts are used to elevate people
  • Pedestrian struck by forklift
  • Accidents in areas that are not designed to accommodate forklift operation
  • Collisions with other equipment
  • Contact with power lines
  • Forklift malfunction

Causes of Forklift Accidents

Common causes of forklift accidents include:

  • Failure to follow safety procedures by anyone near the forklift, not just the operator
  • Inadequate training
  • Overloading
  • Improperly stacked load
  • Using forklift to elevate people
  • Other inappropriate uses of forklifts
  • Driving forklift with load elevated
  • Poor communication
  • Excessive speed
  • Missing safety equipment
  • Poorly designed work area
  • Poor lighting
  • Inadequate forklift maintenance
  • Defective forklift

Safety Tips

You can help prevent a forklift accident by following these forklift safety tips:

  • Do not operate a forklift unless you have been properly trained.
  • Look for hazards before you get in the forklift. Examples include blind corners, low structures, dangers floors, power lines, areas where pedestrians may be present.
  • Make sure your load is stable.
  • Inspect your pallets to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Do not use forklift blades to elevate people.
  • Inspect your forklift daily.


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