Forklifts, or powered industrial trucks or lift trucks as they are sometimes referred to, are used in many industrial workspaces for moving both large and small objects. Despite improvements in safety, use of forklifts can cause serious injury or death. When forklift accidents occur due to the negligence of an operator and/or employer in operating or supervising the forklift work or in maintaining the forklift equipment, the New York construction accident attorneys at Dupée & Monroe, P.C. step in to hold negligent workers, contractors, and property owners responsible and obtain compensation for injured workers and their families.
Improper Use of Forklifts Causes Deadly Accidents on New York Construction Sites
Because of the danger associated with forklifts, federal law restricts anyone who is not properly trained or under the age of 18 from operating a forklift. Despite this requirement, OSHA estimates there are about 85 deaths and 35,000 serious injuries from forklift accidents occurring each year. The most common type of injuries occur: where a worker falls off of a forklift; where a forklift overturns, injuring either the operator or another worker on the ground; where a worker is struck by material that falls off a forklift; where a worker is struck by the forklift itself; or where a worker is pinned between objects as a result of the forklift.
There are numerous safety recommendations and requirements for the operation of forklifts and for the design and supervision of worksites where forklifts are being used, but often times an employee or employer will fail to follow through on these recommendations and requirements, either as a result of improper training or negligence.
Some of the most common forklift accidents can be attributed to the following causes:
- Forklifts are driven off loading docks due to operator error or negligent supervision
- Forklifts fall between elevated docks and unsecured trailers
- The forklift operator is improperly trained or supervised
- Forklifts are operated with the load elevated too high above the surface
- The forklift operator maintains an unreasonably fast speed
- The workplace is improperly designed for the safe maneuver of a forklift
- The workplace does not include sufficient warnings and markers for forklift use
- Other workers ride on the forklift load or improperly use their body to keep the forklift load balanced
- Forklifts are improperly turned, causing them to tip over
Let Experienced New York Construction Accident Lawyers Help You Recover From Your Forklift Accident Injuries
Most forklift accidents are avoidable and are attributable to negligence by either the operator of the forklift or by the employer or contractor in operating or maintaining a safe work environment. Under New York law, the employer or contractor is often liable either for its own negligence or the negligence of its employees even where the victim may have also been partially at fault in the injury. If you or someone you love has been injured in a forklift accident in Goshen, Orange County, or anywhere in the Hudson Valley, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C. to speak with experienced construction accident lawyers who can help you.