Most common Forklift Accidents and How to Prevent Them

Accidents happen. That’s a fact of life but understanding the causes of accidents can help to put practices into place to reduce their frequency or severity. Here are the most common forklift accidents and some advice as to how to prevent them.

  1. Forklift Rollovers

    A forklift rollover happens when a forklift tips over. This is the most common type of forklift accident found in warehouses. It usually happens when a load is overextended or out of balance, shifting the center of gravity of the truck and load to a tipping point. This can also happen when a sudden move is made, like a sharp turn or sudden stop. Forklift rollovers can be prevented by following OSHA guidelines. These include speed limits and slowing down when taking corners. In addition, it’s important to make sure that all operators know the rules as well as the maximum capacities for the equipment they’re running.

  2. Pedestrian Collisions

    These accidents happen when the forklift operator and pedestrian can’t see each other clearly and communicate travel intentions or right of way.  They can also happen as a result of insufficient signaling between the pedestrian and operator. The solution for this issue is proper training for both operators and pedestrians.

  3. Falling Loads

    Falling loads occur when a load slides, tips or fall off the forks. This usually happens when the load is off center, loose, or unsecured. To prevent this type of accident, it’s vital that the operator uses care when lifting any load and ensure that the product is centered and secured.

  4. Mechanical Failure

    Mechanical failure usually is a result of improper operation or maintenance. Creating forklift operator checklists and consistently maintaining warehouse equipment can help to prevent this type of accident.

  5. Emissions Poisoning

    Emissions poisoning occurs when operators suffer health consequences due to exposure to toxic fumes or liquids emitted by the forklift they’re working with. This usually happens with internal combustion powered trucks but can also be the result of fumes from lead acid batteries. Carbon monoxide detectors placed around the warehouse can help to prevent this type of accident. For batteries, switching to lithium ion batteries that emit no toxic fumes might be a viable solution.

Although accidents are bound to happen, consistent training and retraining of operators, pedestrians, and maintenance workers can create a safer workplace environment.

Ring Power Lift Trucks is the premier dealer in Florida with a broad range of forklifts as well as other material handling equipment. We represent all of the leading forklift manufacturers and can work with you to select a new or used forklift for your operation. We also offer short term and long term forklift rentals. We serve Jacksonville, Sarasota, and many other locations in Florida, and our service go beyond sales and rentals. We can also supply you with forklift parts and service to minimize your downtime.

If you would like any more information about the products or services we offer, visit our website or reach out to us at 877-544-5438.



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