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Forklift Safety Tips From a Work Injury Lawyer

On February 23, a 32-year-old man was crushed by a forklift at a northwest Oklahoma City business. The man was going up a ramp when the forklift he was using tipped over. Although coworkers were able to get him out from underneath the forklift, he died from his injuries. While accidents happen, practicing proper forklift safety can help prevent many accidents. Be sure to do the following things if your job requires you to use a forklift:

  • Never operate a forklift or other heavy machinery unless you were trained how to use them properly.
  • Make sure your load is stable and secure before moving.
  • When seatbelts are available, use them. They will keep you in place better if the forklift does tip over.
  • Never use a damaged forklift, and report the damage to the correct authority right away.
  • Never exceed the forklift’s weight capacity.
  • Always maintain a safe speed. This means slowing down for turns, slowing down when going up or down a ramp, and driving slower in areas that might be slick.
  • Travel forward up a ramp and backward down a ramp, especially when carrying a heavy load.
  • Look toward the direction you are traveling, and only travel when you have a clear view. When carrying a tall load, this might mean backing up rather than traveling forward.
  • Never leave the forklift running unattended. Lower the forks, set the parking brake, neutralize the controls, and turn off the forklift when getting off of it.
  • Slow down and use the horn at intersections and other areas where others may not see you coming.
  • Raise and lower the forks only when the vehicle is stopped.
  • Always watch for pedestrians.
  • Maintain a safe following distance from other forklifts.

If you or a family member was injured on the job, contact us. You can discuss the specifics of your case with a qualified work injury lawyer.