Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approximates that forklifts cause about 85 fatal accidents every year. Over 30,000 accidents cause serious injury and another 60,000 are classified as non-serious. There are an estimated 855,900 forklifts currently in the United States.
If you do the math you’ll realize that over 11 percent of all forklifts will, at some point, be involved in an accident of some kind. The average lifespan of a forklift is about eight years. We can conclude then that 90 percent of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident during their working life.
It is more likely than not that if you operate a forklift you will have an accident. To make sure that you don’t put yourself in danger it is important to understand how and why these accidents happen.
Fatal accidents are, listed in order from most common to least, as follows—Crushed by Vehicle tipping over, crushed between vehicle and surface, crushed between two vehicles, struck or run over by a forklift, struck from falling material, and finally falling from platform on the forks. Most accidents occur in either manufacturing or construction zones.
Studies show time and time again that most accidents could have been prevented by better training. Starting out with the knowledge and ability to safely operate a forklift is impossible. As OSHA requires, drivers must be properly trained. The lesson to be learned is, operating a forklift without training is dangerous and can be fatal to you or other employees working in the area.. Forklifts must be regarded as lethal weapons.
Make sure your managers and your employees are all up to date on their OSHA training. In this business we hear all too often that someone has been injured or killed. With the right oversight and training you shouldn’t have fatalities and injuries in your work environment.