A forklift operator working in a New York City warehouse leaned out of the vehicle. Tragically, his head became wedged between the forklift and a metal shelf. According to a U.S. News and World Report article, the 43-year-old man died in the accident this past September.
Industrial vehicles like forklifts are common in warehouses, factories, shipping yards and other workplaces in New York. They are vital machines that businesses use to move heavy materials - but they come with a cost. Each year, about 100 people die and over 36,000 people are injured in forklift accidents across the United States, according to OSHA.
What are common types of forklift accidents
Why do these accidents happen? What are the common causes? OSHA outlines the different types of accidents involving forklifts. One of the most common accidents involves the vehicles tipping over. This can happen for a variety of reasons:
- Accelerating quickly in reverse
- Braking too quickly with a loaded forklift
- Carrying an unevenly balanced load
- Colliding with another vehicle
- Driving with fork arms lifted too high while loaded or not loaded
- Turning too fast
- Driving too fast
While tipping over is the most common type of forklift accident, operators can also get injured if they inadvertently drive the vehicle off a loading dock. Other reported injuries involve workers falling off a pallet on the lift or falling off the lift itself. Workers on foot who are in the area of a forklift face the risk of getting struck by a forklift as well.
How to prevent forklift accidents
Employers should ensure anyone who operates a forklift is properly trained to use the vehicle. Additionally, routine forklift inspections are critical to determine if the vehicle is in need of servicing.
If you are involved in a forklift accident, report the incident immediately to a supervisor and seek emergency medical help. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be unable to return to work or may have to take significant time off during your recovery.
Our attorneys have years of experience representing workers injured in New York forklift accidents. We have seen how debilitating and serious these accidents can be for victims and their families.
Don't put your workers' compensation claim at risk by dealing with your employer's insurance company on your own. Let us help you obtain the full compensation and benefits you deserve. Contact Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP for a free consultation.