Forklift Accidents & Injuries in Massachusetts
It has been estimated that approximately 90% of all forklifts will be involved in an accident at some point over their serviceable lives. Annually, approximately 11% of all forklifts will be involved in at least one accident. Forklift operation tends to involve a high risk of injury or fatality to the operators of these industrial vehicles as well as pedestrian workers in the vicinity.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that there are about 85 fatal accidents involving forklifts that occur in the US every year. Approximately 35,000 forklift accidents result in serious injuries to pedestrian workers and forklift operators.
Types of Forklift Accidents
Most forklift accidents are caused when the vehicle tips over and crushes operators and pedestrian workers. These account for approximately 42% of all forklift accidents. In other accidents, pedestrian workers and operators may be crushed between the forklift and a surface or another industrial vehicle. Pedestrian workers may be run over by forklifts or can be struck by falling debris from a forklift.
Forklift accidents can also be caused by defective or faulty forklift parts or equipment, which can provide a legal basis for a claim against the manufacturer of the forklift. In some circumstances, individuals or businesses that maintain and repair forklifts can also be responsible.
Most forklift accidents occur in the mining industry, construction sector, and in the manufacturing, transportation, and trade industries.
Prevention of Forklift Accidents
Human error is a primary factor in many forklift accidents. The most important thing that employers can do to reduce the risk of forklift accidents is to encourage employees to look out for each other. Communication is often key to preventing these accidents because most of these accidents occur when pedestrian workers are unaware of a forklift being operated right around them. Forklifts are not designed to stop or brake suddenly, which is the reason why there are so many collisions involving forklift operators and pedestrian workers every year.
Workers must be trained to comply with all safety regulations when a forklift is operating in their environment. The environment must be marked and designated as a “no go” zone and must be kept off-limits for pedestrian workers. Forklift operators must also be trained to stay alert at all times and to look out for pedestrian workers.
Forklift accidents can result in serious injuries that include crush injuries when an operator or worker is trapped under a forklift or crushed between the forklift and another vehicle or surface. These injuries may be serious enough to require significant surgeries or even amputation, which means long-term disability and debilitation for the worker.
Peter Ventura is a Massachusetts work injury lawyer dedicated to the representation of workers who have suffered significant injuries in forklift accidents across Massachusetts.
If you have been injured in a forklift accident, Attorney Peter Ventura can investigate the facts of your case and pursue your legal rights against any and all responsible parties. To find out more about the ways in which a personal injury attorney with experience in forklift accidents can help you recover financial compensation, contact the law firm of Peter Ventura, Attorney at Law for a free consultation.