Due to its strategic location, Atlanta is a major hub of commerce. This is particularly evident around the holidays, when companies like UPS (headquartered in Atlanta) are abuzz with activity. To meet the season’s elevated demand for goods being shipped around the country and the world, many warehouses and distribution centers hire seasonal employees. This is good for the hire-ees, because many people need additional income around the holidays.
But it can also create hazardous situations, because many temporary workers are inexperienced or poorly trained. This, combined with tight deadlines and an increased workload, can result in serious workplace accidents and injuries.
Forklifts are a vital tool in the shipping, warehouse, grocery, manufacturing, and retail industries. They are used for retrieving and transporting stored goods, as well as loading and unloading semi-trailers and boxcars. But, in inexperienced hands, forklifts can be very dangerous—even deadly. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires operators to get certification before stepping inside a forklift. The training must be done in person, not online, and includes lectures and actual forklift operation.
If a company is pressuring you or a coworker to use a forklift without certification, tell them “No.” Here’s why.
Forklift Accident Statistics
While forklift accidents account for only about 1% of workplace accidents, they account for 10% of reported physical injuries. The following statistics can be quite sobering for anyone who works with or around forklifts, or has a loved one that does so.
- According to the Industrial Truck Association, there are approximately 855,900 forklifts operating in the United States.
- Approximately 90% of those forklifts will be involved in some type of accident at least once.
- On average, 34,900 serious injuries are attributed to forklifts annually.
- Forklifts kill about 85 Americans every year.
- Overturning is the most common forklift accident, accounting for 24% of all forklift accidents.
How Forklifts Cause Death
The following statistics pertain to forklift accident fatalities:
- 42% of those killed were crushed when a forklift tipped over on them
- 25% of those killed were crushed between a forklift and another surface, such as a wall
- 11% of those fatally injured were crushed between two forklifts, or a forklift and another vehicle
- 10% of forklift fatality victims were struck or run over by a forklift
- 8% of victims were killed by falling material that was being carried by raised forks, or while a forklift operator was trying to load or unload material to or from a high location
- 4% of fatalities were caused by falls—a forklift falling off a dock or semi-trailer, or the victim falling onto the forklift’s fork
OSHA estimates that 70% of forklift accidents in the United States could be prevented if companies adhered to more stringent training policies. Sometimes, certification isn’t enough. We sincerely hope these shipping and delivery companies take notice this winter, because more new hires mean more opportunities for injuries. And of course, fork-lifts are dangerous. Even those with experience may fail to exercise proper safety if pressed for time or distracted. Most forklift injuries, regardless of driver experience, are caused by negligence – not following industry-recognized safety rules.
If you or a family member have suffered a forklift-related injury in Georgia, feel free to call our attorneys for legal advice. We have experience handling forklift injury cases and have recovered millions of dollars for forklift-injured clients.
Your initial consultation is free, and if you choose to have Grant Law Office represent you in a lawsuit, you pay no upfront or out-of-pocket costs. We only get paid if we win you compensation. To find out more, call (404) 995-3955 or toll-free (866) 249-5513 today.