Stay safe and don’t let complacency creep in when working with or near forklift trucks

Hudgell Solicitors - It’s time for every driver to take on-site safety seriously

By Jane Woodcock, head of personal injury at Hudgell Solicitors

Anyone who works in the driving industry is likely to encounter forklift trucks on a daily basis.

If used safely and appropriately, forklifts are a useful workplace vehicle.

However, the dangers associated with their use are often underestimated – despite around 1,300 forklift accidents occurring in the UK every year, according to the Forklift Truck Association.

Some of the most common forklift truck accidents are:

* Driver crushed or trapped

* Struck by falling load or cage

* Hand or foot crush injury

* Person hit by moving forklift

* Fall from height injury

Unfortunately, incidents like this often occur because of a lack of suitable training, poor supervision or due to unsuitable loading and unloading procedures.

Because a forklift truck is substantial in size and weight, the injuries they inflict can often be significant, life-changing or fatal. It is therefore very important not to be complacent when a forklift is in use.

Following a few simple safety tips whenever you’re near an operational forklift will reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident with one:

1. Wear suitable safety clothing – hard hat, safety shoes, Hi-Vis jacket etc

2. Be aware of your surroundings at all times

3. Always follow safe loading procedures

4. Maintain good visibility around forklift

5. Spot potential hazards – uneven surfaces, low doors, pedestrians etc More tips and information are available by visiting www.fork-truck.org.uk/

Coping with the aftermath of a forklift accident

Thankfully, the majority of commercial vehicle drivers will go their entire career without suffering a near miss or accident involving a forklift.

But for the unfortunate few who are adversely affected, it’s important to get the right help, financial support and rehabilitation