A report that was carried out for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) some years ago found that;
5427 workplace transport accident related injuries took place in the year 2004/2005. Of those there were 68 fatalities (including 20 to members of the public).
Workplace transport injuries accounted for 4% of all industrial injuries reported in that same year.
Fork lift truck accident injuries accounted for 24% of workplace transport accidents, and as such, this is the type of vehicle most frequently involved in workplace transport accidents.
Forklift truck accidents causing injury (including fatal injuries) made up just 1% of all accidents at work in the given year.
During the same year, workplace transport injuries accounted for 6% of all major injuries reported and 31% of all fatalities.
70% of workplace transport injuries are suffered by non-drivers
The conclusions that can be drawn from the statistics are that;
The percentage of workplace forklift truck accidents that cause personal injury, is very small at just 1% of all types of accidents at work.
Fork-lift trucks are the most common cause of workplace transport accidents.
Injuries caused as a result of a forklift truck accident are more likely to be serious or fatal injuries.
57% of all those injured in accidents caused by forklift trucks are (mainly employee) pedestrians.
More than 2/3 of forklift truck accidents result in injury to other workers (not the driver)
In which type of industries are employees most at risk of being injured in fork lift truck accidents?
Anyone who regularly works in the vicinity of where forklift trucks operate on a daily basis, is at risk. Drivers of forklift trucks themselves also obviously at risk, every time they drive the vehicle. However, the types of occupation where employees are at a higher than average risk from being involved in a forklift truck accident are;
Transport – railways and roads
Transport support e.g. storage and cargo handling
Sewage and refuse
General transport workers
Postal workers and couriers
Why do forklift truck accidents cause so many serious injuries and fatal injuries?
The sheer size and weight of forklift trucks mean that when a pedestrian worker is hit by one, the injuries that follow, are likely to be of a serious nature. The risk of being crushed either between a forklift truck and another solid object such as a wall, or being crushed by a load that is unsafe and which tips from the forks of the truck, is a very real one.
Drivers too are at risk of falling from the truck that they are driving or worse still, of having the truck topple over whilst driving it, with the danger that they become crushed beneath it.
What are the most common types of forklift truck accident?
Collision with a pedestrian (mainly where the pedestrian is a worker, but sometimes accidents will involve members of the public).
Forklift truck colliding with desks, machinery, shelving or other objects in the workplace. This can either cause injury to the driver or to work colleagues who are hit by the object with which the forklift collides.
Forklift colliding with another workplace vehicle.
The load being carried on the forks of a forklift overbalancing and falling onto a nearby pedestrian.
Accident caused by the forklift being driven too fast.
What are the causes of forklift truck accidents?
As with all types of vehicle, some forklift truck accidents can be simply put down to driver error. In the same way that experienced car drivers still make errors that result in accidents, so too can highly trained and experienced forklift truck drivers.
However, errors can also occur due to;
The driver not having been trained properly. Equally this can apply to managers and supervisors. It they haven’t been properly trained, they may be unable to spot the signs of a forklift being driven incorrectly or dangerously. They are also unlikely to be able to pass on proper training to the drivers.
Forklift driver going around a corner too fast – this can cause the truck to topple over. A forklift must never be driven around a corner with an elevated load either. Doing so, may also cause the vehicle to fall over.
Not having properly marked out forklift zones- where either pedestrian workers are forbidden from entering, when a forklift is being operated in the vicinity, or where if access through the area is a necessity, adequate warning is given of the potential presence of forklift vehicles.
Floor obstructions – may cause a vehicle to fall over.
Poorly packed or piled loads.
Forklift being driven with the forks elevated.
What types of injury are caused by forklift truck accidents?
Accidents involving forklift trucks often result in serious injury or fatal injury to the injured party or parties. The nature of the injuries will vary according to the circumstances but may involve;
Serious head or brain injuries
Traumatic amputation of limbs
Contact Mooneerams Solicitors
If you or a family member have suffered an injury at work as a result of a forklift truck accident, then contact Mooneerams personal injury solicitors and talk to one of our accident at work claims solicitors. Mooneerams have successfully recovered millions of pounds worth of compensation on behalf of clients who have been injured in workplace accidents. This has included not only compensation (damages) for the pain and suffering caused by the personal injury itself, but also, depending on the circumstances of each claim;
Loss of earnings
Loss of future earnings
Costs of physiotherapy and other remedial treatment
Reimbursement of the cost of medical and prescription fees.
Call us, even if you are unsure whether you have a valid claim for compensation or not and we will be pleased to discuss the circumstances of the accident with you. We will then advise you whether we think that on the balance of probabilities, you have reasonable prospects of making a successful injury claim. There will be NO CHARGE for this initial advice and there will be absolutely no obligation on you thereafter to pursue the matter further.
At Mooneerams, we only act on behalf of injured claimants. That means we never work for insurance companies to defend claims.
Call Mooneerams now on 029 2048 3615 if you have been injured as a result of a forklift truck accident at work, within the last 3 years. Alternatively fill in our quick claim enquiry form and we’ll get straight back to you. In most cases, we will be able to assist you by means of a No Win, No Fee arrangement.
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