Statistics on Forklift Accidents
According to estimates provided by the Industrial Truck Association, there are currently approximately 855,900 forklifts in operation throughout the United States. Comparing this figure with forklift accident statistics published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 1 in 10 forklifts will be involved in an accident on a yearly basis. In most cases, a forklift accident can be classified as non-serious, meaning that the people involved do not suffer any type of major harm. More than 30,000 per year, however, do result in catastrophic injury to the driver or other workers, and an average of 85 people are killed in such accidents on a yearly basis.
The National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities Surveillance System reports that the most common types of forklift accidents that result in traumatic injury include forklift overturn (22 percent), struck-by forklifts (20 percent), crushed-by forklifts (16 percent), and falls from forklifts (9 percent). In line with this is the fact that OSHA reports that forklift overturn is the leading cause of fatal forklift accidents nationwide, accounting for 25 percent of all such deaths.
Types of Forklift Accidents
Forklifts can be of enormous value on construction sites, in warehouses and in other industrial settings, but they also pose a serious threat of injury or death. Accidents involving forklifts can occur in a variety of ways, any one of which may cause a tragedy. For example, the driver may not see another worker when his or her view is obstructed by the masts or the load being transported or might strike a worker while backing up.
Workers may suffer injury when negligent operators drop forklift loads. The driver may also be hurt by falling objects, but is especially at-risk when the lift truck tips over while traversing a ramp or other grade at an angle. There is even the possibility that faulty or defective forklift machinery can cause accidents. In any of these cases, a forklift accident can cause devastating injuries ranging from broken bones and lacerations to crushed limbs, brain trauma, and spinal cord injury.
Speak with Our Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact us now at The Daspit Law Firm if you have been injured in a forklift accident or you lost a loved one and want to learn about your options for pursuing financial compensation. Many construction companies in Houston carry workers' compensation insurance, meaning that we may be able to assist you in filing a claim for payment for your medical treatment and replacement for your lost wages. Alternatively, our Houston personal injury attorney may be able to help you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to recover monetary damages for your economic losses in addition to damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress. We even take on product liability claims for workers whose accidents were caused or contributed to by defective forklifts.
Contact our office for your free case evaluation so that we can review your legal options and take action on a strategy for you.