Forklifts are used everywhere across the country including the Bakken oil field. Because of their pervasiveness, they're involved in a lot of workplace injuries and fatalities. In fact, 1 out of 6 industrial fatalities is forklift related, and 11% of all forklifts will become involved in an accident. They can outweigh the average car by more than 2.5 times and are often in the same areas as people on foot. Forklift drivers aren't always well-trained, and some are negligent.
All these facts add up to a high injury and fatality potential. Here are two ways these accidents happen:
Collision and Crush Injuries to Workers on Foot
People on foot and forklifts often work in the same areas. In warehouses filled with rows of shelving, forklifts may ride down the same aisles used by workers on foot. This mixture of workers, forklifts, and narrow aisles equates to many collisions between forklifts and people. The collisions themselves can cause both crush injuries and fatalities.
Forklifts can also drop heavy loads on people when lifting loads off high shelving. The higher the load is held, the more top-heavy and unstable the forklift becomes. Nearby people can be crushed if this instability causes the load to drop or the forklift and load combination tip over. Forklifts riding down narrow aisles will sometimes collide into the shelving causing it and nearby shelves to collapse on the people working among them.
Forklift Operators Crushed by Their Own Vehicle
When loads aren't properly balanced, are held too high, or the operator fails to compensate for uneven terrain, a forklift can tip over. Operators who fail to wear a seatbelt can fall out and be crushed by their own machine. Forklifts can also tip over when rounding corners too fast or when holding loads outside their stability triangle. Sometimes forks held too high may catch the tops of doorways and cause a tip over. Forklifts have also driven over drop-offs.
If you were injured by a forklift or suffered from any other workplace injury, our lawyers can help you get the compensation you need for your recovery. Contact us today.