6 Common Accidents With Forklifts

Forklifts are an important tool for material handling and warehouse operations. Forklifts accidents do occur in warehouses and other environments every day. With the right new or used forklifts a company can prevent some of these accidents by using vehicles that have strong safety features. Proper training of operators and staff can also prevent injuries. There are several common types of forklift accidents.


Forklift Accident Chart


Tipping Over or Rollovers

Tipping over is one of the most common forklift accidents. Tipping over can be caused when the forklift is improperly loaded with freight. This can make the forklift unstable. Operating a forklift on uneven ground can also cause the vehicle to tip over. Some rollovers are caused when the operator is driving the forklift too fast. Tipping over can injure the operator, pedestrians and different forklift parts.


Forklift Rollover




Falling Loads

Improperly loaded freight on a forklift can easily start to topple and fall on the ground around the vehicle. Loading multiple unsecured pallets or stacks of loose items can cause this to happen. Excessive speed, sharp turns and other unsafe driving practices can cause loads to fall as well. Some loads are dropped because of malfunctioning hydraulics. Freight that falls from the forklift can cause serious injuries. Hydraulics and other forklift parts should be inspected regularly to make sure they are in good condition. All loads should be properly stacked and secured before being lifted.


Overloaded Forklift




Collisions are very common especially in tight warehouse or dock environments. A collision with a person, rack or piece of equipment can damage the forklift, the operator, pedestrians and the facility. Collisions are sometimes caused because the freight is blocking the view of the driver. Driving at high speeds frequently causes collisions. A poor layout in a warehouse can lead to collisions. Good forward visibility, constant situational awareness and low driving speeds can prevent collisions.


Top 10 Forklift Accidents!




Falling means the forklift drops off a surface like the edge of a dock or an elevated mezzanine. By using functional and well-maintained used forklifts a company can avoid falls. Mechanical failures can cause a forklift to continue even when the operator attempts to stop. Another preventative step is to design loading areas with stops or edges that will make it difficult for the forklift to simply pass over a ledge and fall.


Injuring Pedestrians or Other Workers

Injuries to people who are working around a forklift are common. These occur when a pedestrian or other worker is injured by the forklift while loading items or walking through an aisle. These accidents can include hitting the forklift while loading items or having hands caught in the machinery. This can lead to cuts and broken bones. Preventing pedestrian or worker injuries means remaining aware of the position and actions of the forklift while working. The forklift operator must also remain constantly aware of the people around the vehicle.

A 70 year old man got nailed from behind and dragged by a careless forklift driver while walking up an access ramp at the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market.



Operator Injuries

Some accidents can cause injuries to the forklift operator. Improper driving or collisions can throw the driver out of the vehicle and on to the ground. Falling loads can strike the driver. Some of these accidents are caused by inexperience forklift drivers who do not fully understand how to operate the equipment. Others are due to speed or inattention to the surroundings. Following all safety measures and wearing protective gear can reduce forklift operator injuries.


Also See 5 Tips for Forklift Driving Safety

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