Texas Forklift Accident Attorney
Forklifts are present at construction worksites, factories, and other industrial locations across Texas. While they are not the fastest vehicles around, they still require care, focus, and training to operate correctly. Misuse of a forklift due to negligent conditions or insufficient training can lead to severe injury, whether it be from dropped items or being crushed by the lift truck itself.
Forklift accidents are much more common than people realize. According to estimates from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), forklift accidents result in nearly 35,000 serious injuries every year across the United States. Another 61,800 people suffer from non-serious injuries. Additionally, 85 Americans are killed in forklift accidents each year. Around a third of the forklift deaths are pedestrians, rather than operators. Safety experts estimate that nearly 70 percent of forklift accidents could be avoided with proper training and the enforcement of appropriate safety protocols. If you’ve been hurt in a Texas forklift accident, get the compensation you deserve by contacting the experienced workplace accident lawyers at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices for a free consultation.
Common Forklift Accidents and Prevention Strategies
One of the biggest causes of forklift accidents is an untrained driver. An OSHA study found that 25 percent of forklift accidents are due to inadequate operator training. One of the best ways to ensure employee safety around forklifts is to implement proper training and instruction for both operators and nearby pedestrians and to delegate tasks to workers in accordance with their levels of training. Newer forklift operators should not be handling the trickiest of tasks. Moreover, anyone operating a forklift must be officially certified under OSHA regulations. If your workplace fails to train workers or gives precise, complex forklift operational tasks to inexperienced people, your employer may be liable for any injuries caused.
One of the most common accidents associated with forklifts is running into or over a pedestrian.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that nearly 20 percent of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian, and 36 percent of forklift-related deaths are pedestrians. Posting adequate warning signs and floor tape to delineate forklift operational areas can drastically reduce the risk of accidents, as can the use of warning lights to let pedestrians know of a forklift in operation (or alert forklift operators of nearby pedestrians). Forklift backup alarms are also essential for preventing such accidents.
Forklift accidents also commonly involve pallets falling, tipping over, or being knocked off. Picking up and setting down pallets can be a tricky procedure requiring care and precision. Moreover, the harder it is for the operator to see the pallets, the greater the odds that the pallet will get knocked off, tip, or that the forks will damage the packages. Forklifts equipped with lift-view cameras or automatic lifting mechanisms can reduce the risks of objects dropping.
Finally, forklifts are known to tip over as a result of improper turning, driving at excessive speeds, or moving with an oversized or overweight load. Forklift overturns are the leading cause of fatalities involving forklifts, and the dangers cannot be overstated for both operators and nearby pedestrians. Improvements in safety technology for newer forklifts can help mitigate the risk, as well as instructing employees in proper safety protocols and enforcing them rigorously.
In order to mitigate or avoid accidents, in addition to implementing proper training and safety procedures, worksites and factories should make sure to use rails and gates to block off forklift areas, limit certain aisles to pedestrians or forklifts only, and remain vigilant about high traffic areas to identify any particularly dangerous zones and adjust accordingly.
Call Beaumont Injury Attorney Gilbert Adams After a Forklift Accident Injury in Texas
Forklifts are specialized vehicles heavily regulated by OSHA, including by requiring operators to obtain OSHA certification before driving. If a business owner, factory supervisor, or construction worksite manager violates OSHA regulations by allowing untrained, uncertified drivers to operate forklifts and you are injured as a result, you may have a claim for damages. If you were injured while on the job, you are entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault. We can help.
If you’ve been hurt in a Texas forklift accident, contact the dedicated and trial-ready Beaumont forklift injury lawyers at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices for a free consultation at 409-835-3000.