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Forklift Accident Statistics | Get the Right Lawyer

Employers and industry are well aware of the dangers associated with forklift operations. Despite this, many businesses fail to take appropriate measures. Moreover, some forklift equipment might be defective or improperly manufactured, contributing to the cause of an accident or injury.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Free Forklift Injury Accident Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured in a forklift accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

Forklift Accident Statistics

Forklifts account for thousands of serious injuries and dozens of deaths each year in American workplaces. According to statistics reported to government inspectors by employers:

  • 100 workers are killed in forklift related accidents every year in the United States
  • 20,000 workers are seriously injured in forklift related accidents every year in the U.S.A
  • 34,000 injuries are treated in Emergency Rooms every year due to forklift accidents
  • 25% of all fatalities involving forklifts are due to forklift rollover accidents

While these statistics may be surprising, many workers are still unaware of the dangers associated with operating a forklift. What is even more unfortunate is that many of these injuries and fatalities could have been prevented by the simple installation of safeguards in the workplace.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a forklift accident, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay your medical bills and cover your lost wages. It’s important to consult an attorney who is experienced at handling forklift accidents.

Why are Forklifts So Dangerous?

The following factors explain why forklifts are dangerous:

  • Forklifts are heavy. Many weigh over 9,000 pounds or more, which is 3 times the weight of a passenger car.
  • Forklifts are fast, with many operating at speeds of close to 20 miles per hour.
  • Forklifts are hard to stop, as they only have one set of brakes, whereas passenger cars have front and rear brakes.
  • The weight of a forklift is unevenly distributed, which makes it more difficult to operate and drive.
  • The rear wheels of a forklift turn the vehicle, which increases its chances of tipping during tight turns.
  • The load of a forklift is carried in the front of the vehicle, which blocks the operator’s sight.
  • Forklifts are often used to lift heavy loads to high places. Mistakes made during lifting can lead to severe injury and even death from falling loads.

What are the Most Common Causes of Forklift Accidents?

  • Lack of proper training and lack of forklift certification given by the company.
  • Traveling at excessive speed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends 5 miles/hour as the maximum speed while driving a forklift.
  • Driving with an elevated load. Forklift rules and regulations provided by OSHA recommends the forks will always be carried as low as possible, consistent with safe operations, usually 4 inches off the floor.
  • A daily forklift inspection was not being performed.
  • There was no audible or visual warning device on the forklift, or it was defective.
  • The forklift’s horn was not used as required.
  • The nameplate was not legible (or missing) on the forklift.

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