Bellevue personal injury attorney represents workers injured in forklift accidents and the family of those killed
Forklift trucks are amazing industrial machines which can be found in almost every warehouse and manufacturing plant and on many construction sites across the U.S. Forklift sales are enormous with sales of over $30 billion in 2013. There are four basic types of lift trucks: Diesel powered; Electric powered; Gasoline powered; LP-Gas powered
Forklifts have increased warehouse capacity by allowing for narrower aisles and higher stacking levels.
Unfortunately, there are approximately 85 workers killed in forklift accidents and another 34,900 workers who are seriously injured. 42% of all fatal forklift accidents occur when a forklift tips, crushing the operator.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the use of forklifts or lift trucks throughout the U.S. because they pose hazards to both forklift drivers as well as pedestrians working in proximity to the forklift. OSHA requires that forklift operators be at least 18 years of age and that the operator get certified for the class of forklift they are using.
CFR1910.178: “Only trained and authorized operators shall be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck.”
Depending on the type of forklift, different hazards are presented. For example, a hand truck forklift is more apt to be involved in a falling load accident because a sit-down rider truck has a higher lift capacity.
Types of forklift accidents
- Driving forklift accidentally off of a loading duck
- For k lift falls between a trailer that is not secured and a loading dock
- Fork lift hit crashing into another motor vehicle accident
- Forklift drift or tip over accident
- Driver attempting to perform stunts
- Tip over accident caused by unbalanced load
- Items not being properly fastened to a pallet that the forklift is lifting
- Forklift operator attempting to go through a narrow aisle with a wide load
Good forklift operating training begins with a qualified instructor. Instructors must have sufficient experience, knowledge and teaching skills to train others.
Operators must earn their certificate and then get refresher training if and when they are observed operating a forklift unsafely, if they’ve received an unsatisfactory evaluation, whenever they are required to operator a different type of lift or when workplace conditions have changed sufficiently to require additional training.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in a forklift accident, you should seek legal advice to protect your rights to workers’ compensation and for potential liability claims against your workplace or or a third party. The Farber Law Group has more than 40 years legal experience and we have helped many injured workers maximize their compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and for other non-economic damages. We also assist families whose loved ones have been killed with their wrongful death claims.