Forklifts are used in many different industries in Colorado, and they are often involved in workplace accidents. Although there are some basic safety regulations related to the operation of forklifts, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration prescribes strict industry-related regulations that must be observed. Company owners must ensure that all workers are informed of the workplace injury hazards they are exposed to on and around forklifts.
It is essential for new employees to receive adequate training, and established employees should received periodic assessments and re-training when necessary. Proper monitoring of workers on or around forklifts can also prevent workplace accidents. The Department of Labor and Industries in another state reported that it is estimated that 87,000 workers nationwide are injured in forklift-related accidents every year, of which 35,000 result in serious injuries.
Some of the common unsafe practices include speeding around corners that could lead to tip-overs, overloading the forklift, moving unstable or oddly shaped loads, and operator distractions by electronic devices or listening to music through headphones. Workers in the vicinity of a forklift are sometimes injured because they move about beneath raised forklifts or handle the loads while in transit. Employers must also ensure the regular maintenance of the machines to identify any malfunctions before injuries are caused.
A Colorado worker who has suffered a workplace injury in a forklift accident — or any other workplace accident — may pursue compensation for medical expenses by filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury caused an absence from work, the benefits would also cover a percentage of lost wages. Workers who suffered catastrophic injuries that resulted in temporary or permanent disabilities might be awarded additional compensation and vocational training to provide new skills when applicable.
Source: safetyandhealthmagazine.com, “Stay safe around forklifts“, Amy Ahn, Aug. 25, 2015