Did you know that over 90,000 people are injured or killed in forklift accidents each year in the United States? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), forklifts, cranes, tractors, bobcats, and other industrial motorized equipment pose serious dangers to workers, and even bystanders. Fortunately, forklift accidents could be covered by workers’ compensation.
Common Causes of Forklift Injuries
Since thousands of companies and businesses in the U.S. use forklifts every day, there are bound to be injuries caused by a wide variety of circumstances and reasons. The most common include:
- Insufficient training/lack of experience – OSHA sets rules to help regulate training for the use of forklifts. Construction workers must be trained and certified before using this machinery. However, many employees are never properly or sufficiently trained, leading to accidents caused by inexperience.
- Unsafe operation – Forklifts are steered by their back wheels so it’s much easier to be spatially unaware of the machine. Workers often fail to account for the distance required to pass people, other machinery, and buildings, leading to crashes and dangerous impacts.
- Tipping over – Forklifts commonly tip over when driven up or down a steep incline.
- Not properly securing a stationary forklift – Even if a worker engages the brakes, a forklift can still move when left unaccompanied. The wheels must be “chocked” (placing a wedge behind each wheel) in order to prevent the forklift from moving.
- Improperly maintaining the forklift – Other common causes of forklift accidents are break downs, leaking engine oil, defective brakes, and hydraulic fails. These are all common due to improperly maintained forklifts.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Forklift Accidents
If you’ve been involved in a forklift accident, you must notify your employer in writing as soon as possible. If you need emergency medical treatment, go to the hospital right away and notify your employer later. If your workers’ comp claim is successful, you could receive compensation for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and more.
Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Attorney
To learn more about the workers’ comp process and to see if you have a claim, contact our lawyers at Powers & Caccavale as soon as possible. We are dedicated to making sure our clients get the best possible outcome. Fill out our free case evaluation or call us at (617) 379-0016 today.