Forklift Injury Statistics: Top 10 Facts

Forklifts are powerful equipment that provide efficient means for moving and lifting heavy materials. However, they also pose significant risks for workplace injuries if adequate precautions aren’t followed. Here are 10 of the top statistics related to forklift injuries:

  1. Over 85 fatal accidents each year involve forklifts according to U.S. federal data. They rank as one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities.
  2. Approximately 94,750 non-fatal injuries stem from forklift mishaps annually. Forklift operators themselves account for over 70% of those hurt.
  3. The most common forklift injuries are leg fractures, crushed/broken toes and feet, cuts or amputations and spinal injuries. Falls from platforms, tip overs and getting pinned between loads or structures is common.
  4. After truck drivers, forklift operators experience more lost work day injuries than any other job category according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data tracking accidents and injuries within industries.
  5. Over 60% of forklift accidents studied involved situations where the forklift overturned, so lack of stability plays a major factor. Operator errors like speeding, distractions, and misjudging load height/weight often contribute.
  6. Hitting pedestrians accounts for 1 out 10 forklift-related fatalities. Warning alarms, proper mirrors, clearly marked lanes, and adequate training all aim to prevent such avoidable collisions.
  7. Most forklift accident deaths involve chest and head trauma injuries according to research published in the Journal of Forensic Science. Impacts or crushing injuries to the torso prove most lethal.
  8. Industry studies indicate older forklifts lack modern safety features that can prevent up to 30% of accidents. Regular replacement of aging equipment prevents problems and protects workers.
  9. Forklift manufacturers face dozens of lawsuits annually alleging flawed designs, lack of safety protections, and inadequate warnings failed to prevent accidents and deaths. Plaintiffs typically obtain evidence from credible forklift operations experts and engineers.
  10. Approximately 35% of all forklift mishaps involve unbalanced loads according to National Institute of Occupational Safety, so maintaining maximum load stability is vital. Properly securing and centering all loads minimizes hazardous instability.

What to Do After a Forklift Injury

If a forklift injury happens at your facility, following proper safety response protocols is essential including:

1) Ensuring prompt medical care for victims 

2) Isolating and securing the involved equipment 

3) Reporting mishaps to appropriate authorities 

4) Recording witness accounts 

5) Assembling all evidence that may reveal causes. 

When catastrophic forklift accidents occur, contacting experienced legal counsel is also advisable to protect injury victims rights’ amid inevitable investigations and claims processes to follow. Retaining a qualified forklift expert witness with appropriate credentials and expertise also helps substantially when constructing accident theories and gathering all supporting evidence to prove preventable hazards or failures precipitated the injurious mishap.

It’s also important that the forklift accident victim refrain from posting details on social media sites and avoid signing any statements presented by insurance adjusters before consulting an attorney. Forklift injury cases can quickly become complicated legal matters, so preserving all options with qualified legal guidance is essential after these traumatic events.


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