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Forklift Accidents Often Cause Serious Workplace Injuries & Fatalities

Close up of worker operating a forklift

Forklift accidents in warehouses and other workplaces often occur, resulting in severe injuries and workplace fatalities. Injured workers are usually eligible for workers' compensation when these accidents happen, but the process of obtaining benefits can be complex. If you're not careful, you could end up missing out on the workers' comp benefits you're entitled to.

That's why if you suffered forklift accident injuries while on the job, it's in your interest to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can protect your rights and help you navigate the process from start to finish. Otherwise, you might not receive the medical care you deserve and/or end up paying for expenses out of pocket.

Forklift accident statistics

Accidents involving forklifts result in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year nationwide. According to workplace accident statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an estimated 7,000 workers are injured and 80 people are killed annually in forklift accidents.

In particular, 7,290 people were injured and 78 workers died in forklift-related accidents in 2020, according to a recent article published by the National Safety Council about the dangers of forklifts in the workplace.

Common causes of forklift accidents

Like many other workplace accidents, forklift accidents often occur due to unsafe working conditions or the negligent behavior of companies and/or co-workers. Specific examples include:

  • Employers do not adequately train forklift operators on how to operate a forklift safely.
  • Poorly maintained forklifts.
  • Manufacturer defects.
  • Improperly balanced objects on the forklift. Workers can be injured if the payload falls from the forklift and strikes them.
  • Reckless and inexperienced forklift operators.
  • Failure to regularly inspect the forklift.

Forklift accidents occur for many other reasons too. Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined a company more than $50,000 for a fatal forklift accident involving a previously damaged forklift that was never repaired, according to Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

Whatever the cause of your forklift accident, make sure you seek immediate medical care. Then, talk to an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Preventing forklift accidents

There are many steps employers can take to prevent forklift accidents and make workplaces safer. Some preventative measures include:

  • Regularly inspect forklifts to make sure they're in proper working order.
  • Provide forklift operators with safety training before allowing them to operate a forklift.
  • Make sure workplaces are well lit.
  • Provide workers with the necessary safety equipment.
  • Remove hazardous objects that can obstruct forklifts.

Companies have a responsibility to do everything possible to prevent workplace accidents. However, when they don't and an accident occurs, injured workers have the right to seek workers' compensation benefits.

You have rights. Contact our law firm to protect them.

At Vellner Law, PC, we have been standing up for the rights of injured workers in Pennsylvania since 1991. When you have our legal team on your side, we can handle every aspect of your claim and aggressively advocate for your best interests while you focus on healing.

We know how to investigate workplace accidents. We know what evidence to look for. And we understand what it takes to build a winning case.

Discover what our law firm can do for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Pennsylvania workers' compensation lawyer. We have offices in Allentown and Bethlehem, and we serve injury victims throughout Lehigh Valley.

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