Forklift Injury Claims
Suffering illness or injury as a result of the work that you do is distressing due to the important part that work plays in all our lives. After all, the first question we usually ask upon meeting someone new is: “What do you do?” That’s why the knowledge that you’re suffering as a result of your employer’s negligence is so distressing – having worked hard for the wages you receive, the very least you can expect is that the environment in which you’re working will be kept as safe and pleasant as possible.
In the UK, around 10 people are killed annually in forklift accidents and many thousand injured, a figure that is far bigger than the number of workplace accidents caused by cars and HGVs combined. This figure is particularly shocking when you consider that many of these accidents and fatalities could have been prevented by carrying out proper risk assessments and acting on hazards that are identified.
The Dangers of Working with Forklifts
The Fork Lift Truck Association states that the biggest danger posed by forklifts in the workplace is when forklifts are used in places where people are walking around. It is very easy for a forklift driver to accidentally run over a pedestrian when they are concentrating on carrying a load or they can’t see the pedestrian. Safety measures should be in place to keep forklifts and pedestrians completely apart.
The most common accidents involving forklifts are:-
- Loads falling off a forklift and crushing someone.
- A forklift overturning and crushing somebody.
- A forklift pinning somebody between the truck and an object, floor or wall.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have found that the main causes of forklift accidents in the workplace are poor supervision of the use of these vehicles and a lack of training. Other causes of forklift accidents include obstacles, an uneven floor surface and inadequate work environment.
Measures that can be taken to protect drivers, other employees and members of the public from forklift accidents include:-
- Caring for vehicles – Forklifts should be properly maintained and inspected regularly.
- Using the right vehicle for the job – Forklifts come in all shapes and sizes and the correct type of vehicle should be chosen to match the tasks that it needs to carry out.
- Ensuring that the workplace is adequate for a forklift.
- Identifying potential risks and hazards.
- Acting on risks and hazards that are identified.
- Keeping forklifts away from pedestrians.
If you are injured in a forklift accident and your employer has not carried out these steps then you have an excellent chance of winning personal injury compensation because your employer can be seen to be negligent and liable for your accident.
Starting a claim if you’ve suffered a Forklift Injury
As soon as possible after your accident, you should consult a personal injury solicitor for advice. It would help your case if your accident was logged or reported, and you will need to prove that you suffered a real injury as a result of your accident. Personal injury compensation will not take the pain and trauma away, but it can help pay medical bills and compensate you for lost earnings. In the case of a fatality, a family can seek compensation which can help the victim’s dependents.
Many personal injury lawyers will work on a no win no fee basis, which takes the financial risk out of pursuing a personal injury compensation claim. Your employer will have liability insurance to cover them in the event of a claim so you should not feel guilty about claiming against them. Remember, if your employer had taken the right steps to protect you then you would not be injured.