Businesses nationwide, including in Oklahoma, recognize National Forklift Safety Day in June every year. This collaboration between the Industrial Truck Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will aim to remind employers and employees of the importance of forklift safety to prevent workplace injury incidents. OSHA inspectors will also receive relevant training at this time.
Along with the safe operation of forklifts, the need for routine daily quality tests of the equipment to identify potential problems, and the importance of forklift operator training will be underscored. Furthermore, operators will learn that different types of lift trucks, such as motorized hand trucks and high-lift rider trucks, pose different hazards. They type of facility, and the pedestrian movements of each business also play a role in the types of dangers posed by forklifts.
Safety authorities will pay particular attention to some of the common forklift injuries. These include the negligent driving over the edges of loading docks and incidents in which forklifts fall between unsecured trailers and loading docks. Employees who are struck by lift trucks can suffer serious injuries. The dangers of elevating co-workers on pallets on the forks of lift trucks will also be emphasized. Injuries often happen when untrained workers, or those under the age of 18, operate lift trucks.
Many of the benefits claims filed with the Oklahoma workers' compensation insurance program every year involve forklift accidents. Any victim of such a workplace injury may be entitled to benefits that will cover medical expenses. Furthermore, a percentage of lost wages will be paid to workers whose injuries cause lost work days. Some choose to seek the support of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate benefits claims while they focus on recovery.