Following up on our blog post about a tragic fatal forklift accident on Oct. 3 ("Forklift accident causes death of 2, workplace injury to 1"), a look at safety procedures may be appropriate. Statistics show that the number of forklift accidents per year may be as many as 35,000, and accident investigations usually indicate that most workplace injuries could have been avoided. While Oklahoma workers commonly rely on company owners to provide safe workplace surroundings, they may benefit from being fully aware of the imminent dangers posed by working on and around forklifts.
Workers should never be required to operate a forklift without prior training. Companies are required to provide training and certification to forklift operators, along with refresher training at regular intervals. Such training should not only include the operation of a forklift, but also highlight the dangers of inappropriate use of forklifts – such as lifting other workers on the fork and speeding.
Forklifts should always be well maintained, and a machine with defects should not be used until repairs have been done. Forklift operators should recognize the fact that vision may be obscured when transporting a load, and extra care should be taken when working in the vicinity of loading docks and other elevated areas. While workers on the ground should be careful around a forklift, the operators should maintain a proper lookout for ground workers.
Workers in Oklahoma, who have suffered workplace injuries in forklift accidents may be concerned about the time their injuries are keeping them from returning to work. They will likely be entitled to claim workers' compensation insurance benefits to provide financial aid while they are recuperating. Those who find the claiming process difficult or intimidating may utilize the assistance offered by a workers' compensation attorney who will do whatever is possible to ensure full and fair compensation. In addition to medical expenses, the benefits will also cover a percentage of lost wages, allowing injured workers to continue caring for their families while they are unable to work.
Source: safety.blr.com, "Prevent forklift accidents with these safety tips", , Oct. 10, 2014