Experts in Forklift Accident Claims
If you have been injured in a forklift truck accident at work, we may be able to help you claim the compensation you deserve
Forklift trucks are common in most workplaces, particularly in warehouses, manufacturing, and construction sites. They’re used to lift things that are too heavy for manual lifting, such as pallets and crates. Forklift trucks are classed as dangerous equipment in a workplace, so, to avoid forklift injury, operating a forklift requires thorough training.
However, forklift accidents are common, as forklift trucks, along with all workplace machinery, still carry risk. These forklift accidents can sometimes cause serious injury.
What causes forklift truck accidents?
Forklift truck accidents are common. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that, on average, forklift truck accidents make up about a quarter of those that occur due to workplace transport; forklift injuries often happen due to poor supervision and a lack of training.
Forklift trucks also weigh a lot. In fact, an average truck weighs between 1800-4100kgs, which means it is not uncommon for forklift trucks to hit people, or for it to fall over. Forklifts are also different to drive than cars; they steer using the back wheels rather than the front, meaning that thorough training is essential to avoid forklift injuries.
As with a lot of accidents at work, there are many ways that forklift injuries occur. There are two main categories of forklift accidents: cases where you were the driver and cases where someone else was the driver.
As the driver, some of the most common forklift accident claims are made because of:
- Defective forklifts, including broken, poorly maintained, or otherwise not fit for purpose forklifts.
- Not using seat restraints
- Unsafe driving conditions, where the cause of the accident is poor surface conditions, including potholes or uneven ground.
- Weight issues, where the forklift falls over due to the forklift lifting too much weight, or an imbalance in weight due to poor stacking. An empty forklift can also fall, as they are designed to carry weight.
- Incorrect or inadequate training on using the forklift.
In instances of someone else driving, some of the most common forklift accident claims are made because of:
- Careless or dangerous driving of the forklift, where the driver speeds, swerves, or drives in undesignated areas.
- Collision, where the forklift hits you or runs over you. This can cause injury to the leg or foot.
- Falling debris, where the truck collides with equipment, shelves, or other machinery. This can cause something to fall.
- Overloading the truck.
- Not using the parking brake properly.
- Not noticing pedestrians and hazards.
Site owners are responsible for making sure pedestrians and trucks are separated as much as possible, and crossing points are well signposted. All sites must be kept tidy and well maintained, and aisles should be wide, free of obstacles and ideally one-way.
Injuries from forklift truck accidents can also be very serious, and even life changing. The most common forklift injuries include crushing, falling objects, feet and leg injuries and head injuries.
Who is responsible for preventing forklift truck accidents?
According to The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty of care to their staff, to ensure that employees are not injured whilst at work. This applies to all staff, whether full-time or part time, contractors, or sub-contractors, temporary or zero hours workers.
Employers should conduct regular risk assessments to ensure the safety of the forklift truck for the operator, and everyone else who is in the workplace. This means that it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that machinery is safe and in a good working condition, so that their employees don’t experience a forklift truck accident. They are also responsible for making sure that everyone who uses the forklift has had the correct training and is wearing the correct clothing (high visibility clothing and head protection are essential to prevent a forklift accident).
Your employer is responsible for ensuring that your workplace meets health and safety needs, which means that they are responsible for making sure that employees are protected from forklift injury and anything else that may cause harm.
Claiming for forklift truck accidents
Often when people have forklift accidents at work, they are unsure about claiming against their employer. However, every company must have Employer’s Liability Insurance. This insurance covers costs such as forklift accident claims. The solicitors that we work with negotiate with the insurance company, rather than directly with your employer, to get you the forklift accident compensation you deserve.
Avoiding forklift truck accident claims
A forklift truck is only as safe as the person using it, so it’s important to follow safety guidance. The Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) recommend the following:
- Training and refresher training for all operators and colleagues who work around them
- Ensure the use of seat restraints – A survey conducted by the FLTA showed that 90% of forklift operators don’t always wear seat restraints
- Re-enforce breakdown procedures
- Keep pedestrians and trucks separate, and provide safe crossing points
- Set speed restrictions and use wall-mounted mirrors to enhance visibility
- Minimise the need for reversing and ramp use
- Provide good lighting and ventilation
- Provide separate spaces for truck parking and maintenance
How we can help with forklift accident claims
Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with leading law firms across the country on a No Win No Fee basis. The law firms we work with have years of experience dealing with forklift accident claims.