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Why are Forklifts so Dangerous?

ForkliftsAmerican workers face a wide variety of dangers in the workplace, and accidents that occur at work can cause serious or fatal injuries. Forklift accidents are unfortunately common, and many can be prevented by following simple safety recommendations. In the United States, there are 61,800 forklift accidents per year, with 34,900 of these accidents resulting in serious injury. Most unfortunately, there are about 85 forklift accidents every year in which one or more people die.

The most common way someone dies in an accident involving a forklift is when the vehicle tips over. Forklift injuries occur most commonly in the manufacturing sector, followed by the construction, wholesale trade, and transportation industries.

Dangers of Forklifts

While forklifts are powerful tools that are often required to accomplish certain tasks, the design of a forklift presents dangers to operators and those working nearby. There are many factors that explain why forklifts are dangerous:

  • Forklifts are heavy. Many weigh 9,000 pounds or more, which is triple the weight of a passenger car.
  • Forklifts can move at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour.
  • Forklifts are harder to stop, as they only have one set of brakes, located in the front of the vehicle. Cars have front and rear brakes.
  • The weight of a forklift is unevenly distributed, which makes it harder to operate and drive.
  • The rear wheels of a forklift are responsible for turning the vehicle, increasing the chances of tipping during tight turns.
  • The load of a forklift is carried in the front of the vehicle, blocking the line of sight of the operator.
  • Forklifts are frequently required to lift heavy loads to high places. Mistakes made during lifting can lead to serious injuries from falling loads.

It is estimated that 70 percent of forklift accidents could be prevented with proper training.

Reach Out to a San Jose Forklift Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a forklift accident while on the job, you should receive full medical treatment for your injuries at no cost to you. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should be responsible for your medical costs. You may also be eligible to receive disability benefits, which will cover a portion of your lost wages during any time taken off work due to your injury.

If you have been injured in a forklift accident, you should contact a skilled Santa Clara County workplace injury attorney. The attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. will work with you to help you receive the workers’ comp benefits you deserve. If an employer or insurer is being unreasonable, our firm can help. Call our offices today at 408-289-1417 or toll free at 866-433-6797 to schedule your free consultation.

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