Forklifts play a vital role in many warehouse and factory settings, but they can also be dangerous if operated inappropriately. Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, forklifts play a role in 85 deaths and nearly 100,000 work injuries each and every year. Below, we take a look at some ways to safely operate this machinery, and what you should do in the event of a forklift injury.
Forklift Safety Tips
The vast majority of forklift injuries are caused by one or more of the following actions – inattentive driving, excessive speed, poor driving maneuvering or a lack of training. The common theme with those four causes is that they can all be prevented using some accident mitigation techniques, like:
- Paying close attention to your actions when using a forklift.
- Watching for obstructions on the ground and overhead.
- Avoiding excess speeds, even if you don’t believe others are around.
- Taking regular safety courses or training sessions.
- Making sure all loads are secured and you aren’t trying to move too much too quickly.
- Performing regular forklift inspections
- Wearing a seat belt.
Co-workers and pedestrians can also avoid forklift-related injuries by avoiding walking near forklifts that are in operation, alerting drivers and making sure they are visible when moving near a forklift, and never walking underneath raised loads.
What To Do After A Forklift Work Injury
If you have been injured by a forklift at work, either as a driver or pedestrian, make sure that you start the process of collecting workers’ compensation. Forklift injuries tend to be severe, so report the injury and start the claims process right away.
After you’ve reported your work injury to your employer, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. They’ll be able to explain what next steps you should take, and they can refer you to a physician who specializes in diagnosing similar types of work injuries. The medical report will help strengthen your case as to what types of benefits you’re entitled to receive, and how much compensation you should file for. It’s beneficial to have a lawyer by your side during this process so that they can handle all the paperwork and deadlines while you focus on recovering.
For more information on forklift injuries in Minnesota, or to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your recent work injury, reach out to Dean Margolis today.
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