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.