Forklifts are valuable tools in various industries in Oklahoma, from construction sites to fulfillment centers. Unfortunately, the dangers posed by these machines are not always recognized. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety standards related to the operation of forklifts. However, sight must not be lost of the workplace injury hazards these machines pose to other workers who share work areas with forklifts.
This danger was recently underscored by a forklift accident on the site of a museum renovation in another state. Reportedly, in an attempt to lift a vault, a metal access panel on the floor gave way, causing a 51-year-old worker to fall six feet into the basement below. To add to the tragedy, the 2,000-pound forklift also tumbled down onto the worker, crushing him.
According to OSHA investigators, the fork of the forklift crushed the worker's arm, and rescue workers needed to use mechanical equipment to lift the heavy machine during an hour-long process to free the worker. The injured worker was hospitalized, and OSHA investigators are piecing together what happened. The severity of the worker's injuries was not published.
Many forklift accidents lead to catastrophic injuries such as the loss of the use of limbs or even amputations. The medical expenses can be overwhelming, and if a permanent disability prevents the workplace injury victim from returning to work, the consequences could be devastating. Fortunately, the Oklahoma workers' compensation system is there to help. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist with the benefits claims process and also make sure the client receives the maximum allowed benefits under applicable laws.