If asked what the most dangerous piece of heavy equipment is, many people would say cranes or other large, heavy equipment like excavators and backhoes. And while they would be correct, that doesn’t mean that smaller equipment pieces, like forklifts, don’t pose their own high levels of danger.
Just because forklifts are small, that doesn’t mean they are without risk. Below are some of the hazardous scenarios you can encounter when operating a forklift or working in proximity to one:
Overloading and causing tip-overs
Never overload a forklift. Not only can a too-full load block your vision of the path ahead, but all forklifts (empty or laden) are at risk of tipping over. This is especially true if you are operating your forklift on a graded surface.
Not wearing a seat belt
If an operator isn’t wearing a seat belt and the forklift tips, they can find themselves crushed underneath the weight of the equipment.
Not having sufficient room to turn
A forklift has a tight turning radius. In small areas, that can leave you jammed up and unable to get out of your own way.
Moving too fast for the conditions
Driving too fast on a rain-slicked slope or over ice or uneven terrain could cause you to be unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with another vehicle, a person or a stationary object.
What can you do after a forklift accident?
Injuries do not always show up at first, especially if the adrenaline is flowing through your veins after an accident with a forklift. Your first order of business is to seek medical treatment and notify your supervisor so you can link any injuries directly to your accident when filing a workers’ compensation claim.