Forklift truck accidents are responsible for just under a quarter of all transport related workplace accidents in the UK, amounting to over 21,000 incidents. Resulting injuries can be severe; sometimes fatal and over 15,000 of these cases have meant workers having time off.
One of the most significant dangers involves forklifts being used in areas where pedestrians are free to walk around. When drivers (or operators) are focused on the load they are carrying it’s possible to overlook fellow workers in the vicinity. Drivers should also be mindful of other potential hazards including uneven floor surfaces, large obstacles and an overall inadequate workplace environment.
The Health and Safety Executive
According to the Health and Safety Executive, a combination of poor regulation of Fork Lift Trucks in the workplace and a lack of training are the two major reasons why these vehicles account for such a large volume of transport related accidents in the workplace.
In light of the large number of accidents, the HSE has produced an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) which defines the minimum legal requirements FLT operators must adhere to.
The HSE guidance in preventing accidents involving Fork Lift Trucks includes the following provisions:-
- The need for managers and operators to undertake specific Fork Lift Truck training. This training should be repeated every 3 years and operators must also maintain their vehicle appropriately and report any vehicle faults to their supervisor.
- Making sure there is enough space in the workplace for Forklifts to move freely and safely.
- Using suitable and safe equipment.
- Maintenance of premises where forklift trucks are present.
Common Causes and Effects of Forklift Accidents
- Pedestrians being struck by vehicles
- Drivers trapping limbs
- A load falling onto another employee
- Lateral tip-over when turning corners
- Driving off a loading bay
- Poor lighting
- Overcrowded environment
- Insufficient room to operate the vehicle safely
The majority of forklift personal injury claims cases can be classified as ‘lack of training’. Both employees and employers are under obligation to receive or administer relevant training to minimise risks. Tiredness, stress, poor concentration and inadequate equipment also contribute to the causes of accidents at work claims (including forklift accident claims).
What can be done to minimise risks?
- Identifying possible risks and hazards where forklifts are being used.
- Find solutions for risks and hazards and implement actions.
- There are a number of different Forklifts available to use for a variety of different jobs. It is important to use the correct vehicle with the correct job.
- Upkeep and inspection of Forklifts must be carried out at regular intervals.
If your employer has not ensured any of the above have been taken care of then they are breaching statutory duty, making your potential case for a personal injury claim a strong one if you have been injured as a result of a forklift truck incident.
Employers are duty bound to protect their staff by providing safe and secure surroundings and equipment in the workplace and by giving necessary training on how to safely operate any machinery or tools.
Making Forklift Accident Claims For Compensation
Prospective compensation will cover financial losses by the employee including having to pay for special care, transport to medical appointments or adapted accommodation or transport. If either a preliminary injury or a long-term injury has been sustained then any recompense should cover both.
If you have suffered as a result of an injury involving a forklift truck then we may be able to help you claim compensation. Contact Jefferies Solicitors on 0800 342 3206 today or complete our initial accident claims form online and one of our team will come back to you for an informal, yet confidential discussion regarding your prospective claim for accident and injury compensation.
Other Accident At Work Claims
At Jefferies, we don’t only deal with forklift accident claims, we deal with a wide range of types of accident at work claims, including factory accidents, construction accidents and commercial kitchen accidents. If you’ve been involved in another kind of accident, please do not hesitate to contact us as we may be able to help.