Every day, millions of forklifts are used in all types of businesses in America, from construction sites to warehouses to retail stores. Forklifts are designed to raise, lower, and carry loads in tight spaces, making many tasks easier for workers who would otherwise have to move heavy products and materials without the aid of equipment. However, forklifts are also vulnerable to rollover accidents and are the cause of many serious injuries in the workplace. In fact, over 30,000 forklift-related injuries require emergency room treatment each year, and about 100 workers are killed in forklift accidents annually.Causes of Forklift Accidents in the Workplace
Perhaps because forklifts are a common sight in so many workplaces, many workers are not aware of the dangers associated with operating a forklift, and, too often, their employers have not taken steps to raise caution levels. Lack of care can combine with many other factors to cause a forklift accident in the workplace. These factors may include:
- Improper training – Many forklift operators have not been sufficiently trained to handle emergency situations.
- Improper maintenance – Malfunctioning brakes, steering components, and hydraulic system components can all cause a forklift accident.
- Lack of safety measures – Twenty-five-percent of all fatalities involving forklifts are due to forklift rollover accidents, yet many forklifts are not equipped with rollover protection systems.
- High production schedule – Workers who are rushing to complete work or move inventory often drive forklifts recklessly, creating a dangerous condition for them and other employees.
- Too heavy or unstable loads – When a forklift is overloaded or not loaded properly, a rollover is more likely, or the load may fall on anyone near the forklift.
Employers and those responsible for supplying and maintaining forklifts in the workplace (forklift rental companies, manufacturers, mechanics, etc.) have a duty to prevent forklift accidents by installing safeguards such as grab handles to protect the driver in the event a forklift begins to tip over. Forklifts should also be equipped with automatic alarms to warn other workers in the area that a forklift is present. Other safety precautions include installing rearview mirrors, so forklift operators can be more aware of their surroundings, and rollover protection systems to prevent the driver from being ejected from the forklift.
If you were injured in an accident involving heavy equipment that could have been prevented with appropriate safeguards, you may be entitled to compensation. Serious forklift injuries may make it difficult for you to continue to work, enjoy your life as you did before the accident, and may even lead to a lifetime of disabilities. The forklift accident lawyers at Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC in Atlanta will work to ensure all your medical needs are met, and that you receive the maximum financial recovery award available to you.Talk to an Experienced Attorney About Your Forklift Accident
After a forklift accident caused by another person’s carelessness or recklessness, or due to negligent maintenance or lack of safety precautions, you owe it to yourself and your family to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. Do not settle for less compensation than you deserve to cover the full extent of your damages. In the Atlanta area and throughout Georgia, call Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC at 404-460-0101 or 888-426-2100 for a free initial consultation. The sooner you contact us, the more likely we will be able to prove your claims against those who caused your accident and injuries.