Forklift truck accidents

Forklift trucks are common in certain workplaces. If you have suffered a forklift accident at work, you could be entitled to compensation.

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Forklift trucks are common in many industries, including manufacturing, storage, shipping and construction, as well as in warehouses. They are used for lifting objects such as pallets and crates, which are too heavy for manual lifting.

Common forklift accidents

With their presence comes risk. Forklift accidents are common, causing 25% of workplace transport injuries, according to the British Safety Council. The somewhat ungainly size and significant weight of a fork truck means it is not uncommon for it to fall over, while those around the forklift are at risk of being hit or crushed by the vehicle or its load.

There are a huge variety of ways in which you could suffer a forklift truck accident, whether you’re the driver or not. For example, the truck might be overloaded, which could lead to it losing its load and hitting you.

You might be hit by the vehicle. This could be as a pedestrian or a driver of another vehicle. A forklift crash is likely to be caused by speeding, which can lead to the driver losing control, or carelessness on the part of the driver. According to the Fork Lift Truck Association, “excessive speed contributes to a significant number of forklift truck accidents, increases the likelihood of an accident and the severity of injuries”.

It advises that employers should decide on a maximum speed based on a number of factors, including traffic routes, driving surfaces, the load being carried, how many people are present, lighting and weather.

Forklift trucks can topple over, particularly when not carrying a load. This is because the vehicle is less stable when not carrying a load. It can also happen when a load is not properly balanced or if the surface it is driving across is uneven. These accidents can cause a number of injuries.

Common injuries after a forklift accident

Crushing is one of the most common injuries caused by a forklift accident. You may be crushed between the forklift and another vehicle, wall or other object. This can cause internal injuries, such as internal bleeding, as well as bone fractures and nerve injuries. Having your foot run over is a comparatively common fork truck accident.

Avoiding accidents like these is one of the main reasons to ensure high visibility equipment is always worn around forklifts.

Meanwhile, falling objects can result in head injuries, particularly as the reason they are being lifted by a forklift is because they are too heavy for manual lifting. Smaller objects falling from a truck can also present a trip hazard if they are not dealt with right away.

The worst forklift accidents can result in fatality. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 30 people died after being hit by a moving vehicle, 16 died after being struck by a moving object and 11 were killed by a collapsing or overturning object. Forklift accidents can be responsible for all of these accidents.

How to prevent forklift injuries

To prevent a forklift accident, your employer should carry out risk assessments on the use of this vehicle.

A specific route should be set out for the forklift, which all other workers should be instructed not to cross. There should also be strict limits on what the truck can carry, reducing the chances of it overbalancing or dropping a load.

Make sure the lighting is appropriate and if the weather has turned bad, consider postponing the work requiring the use of the forklift.

Your company should make sure all drivers are fully trained in how to operate a forklift, as well as in the necessary safety processes and what to do if something goes wrong.

Who is responsible for a forklift truck accident?

Your employer is responsible for ensuring the safety of its workforce. This means it is required to make sure the use of fork trucks is safe. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require employers to ensure that all working equipment is in:

  • An efficient state
  • Efficient working order
  • Good repair

If your employer has not done its duty and ensured its forklifts meet these standards, it can be held accountable for an injury in the workplace.

Your employer is also required to ensure all forklift operators are trained in the correct safety practices. They must also ensure high visibility clothing is worn on-site to minimise the chances of a forklift accident. If your employer has not done so, you could make a claim against them.

How to make a forklift accident claim

You may be worried about making a claim against your employer. It’s natural to think that it could cause further problems, even resulting in your employment being terminated.

But companies are not allowed to sack you for making a claim. If they did, you would have a case for unfair dismissal, which you could claim compensation for.

Your employer is required to have certain insurance policies in place. You would claim against the insurance, meaning that you wouldn’t be claiming directly against your employer for your accident.

 

How long after a forklift accident can I make a claim?

In most cases of an accident at work, you’ll have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. So it pays to start the process of claiming as quickly as possible. In addition to the details of the accident being clearer in your mind, it will also be clearer in the minds of any witnesses.

Meanwhile, it will also be easier to get hold of certain pieces of evidence, such as CCTV, if you begin as quickly as you can.

How much compensation will I receive?

Our compensation calculator could help you work out roughly how much you might be entitled to.

As a real-world example, one of our clients received £5,000 after suffering leg injuries from a forklift truck accident.

Any compensation you’re awarded will depend on your specific injury and how it has affected you. It is difficult to say exactly what you might receive without a consultation, so just get in touch to discuss your injury.

Just give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online.

Meet the expert

Meet Jax
Jacqueline Batty

Jacqueline Batty

Head of Claims

Jacqueline is our head of claims.
She is a qualified solicitor and has practised as a specialist in personal injury cases. A recent addition to our team, Jacqueline has moved to a managerial and coaching role with us, where she is keen to continue the team's training and development to ensure every customer continues to get a first class service.

Get in touch today - we can help with your claim 08005677866
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