A timber company and a food packaging company in the UK have both put workers lives at risk recently through the unsafe use of forklift trucks. According to studies by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), forklift trucks account for almost a quarter of all injuries involving workplace transport resulting in more than 5,000 incidents a year.

Freeclaim Solicitors are specialists in the workplace accident sector and consider the two recent cases as published by HSE.

A factory worker in Mansfield Lane, Calverton was run over by a forklift truck whilst walking alongside it after being ordered to steady a pallet of fencing. The man suffered leg fractures, broken and dislocated toes as well as deep grazing when the incident happened. It was found that the driver of the forklift not only had an expired license, but that risk assessment had not been carried out and employees had not been provided with adequate training.

Devastating injuries occurred in a food packaging company in Buxton when an employee was hit by a forklift truck at speed. A 42 year old man broke his leg and was in hospital for six days after being hit by the forklift carrying a large reel of film.

Both cases as highlighted by the HSE show the dangers of fork lift truck accidents which can cause serious injuries to employees. These type of workplace accidents are unfortunately very common as seen by the expert solicitors at Freeclaim who deal with many clients who have had their livelihood and health impacted seriously by such incidents.

Expert accident at work solicitor Nicola Hughes considers these cases:

Employers have a duty of care to ensure the right safety precautions are put into place and observed by their employees. Unfortunately, not all employers and employees follow these precautions to the letter, encouraging accidents like these to happen on a daily basis.

To help reduce accidents, we advise that forklift truck workers.

Always:

  • Carry out a pre-shift check of the lift truck
  • Look all around before moving off
  • Look in the direction of travel
  • Travel at a speed suitable for the location and the load being carried
  • Always watch out for pedestrians
  • Always watch out for obstructions
  • Travel with the forks lowered but clear of the ground

Never:

  • Operate a lift unless you are trained or authorised to do so
  • Use a lift truck that is not working properly
  • Use mobile phones or other hand held devices whilst operating a forklift truck
  • Travel at a dangerous speed
  • Overload a forklift truck
  • Travel with a raised load, unless the forklift truck is specifically designed for this
  • Travel with a bulky load which blocks your view
  • Allow an unauthorised or unlicensed person to operate a forklift truck

By following these precautions, workers can help make their working environment a safer place for themselves and their colleagues.

In many cases, workers may feel pressured against pursuing a workplace compensation claim as they may be worried about their job. However, your employer cannot dismiss you for making a compensation claim and it is your employer’s insurance policy that will pay out any compensation rather than your employer.

You may have been asked to operate a forklift truck without the appropriate training resulting in injury, or may have been involved in an accident where a driver is to blame. In either case you may have been forced to take time off work and fork out for costly medical bills.

Freeclaim Solicitors are specialists in serious workplace accidents, particularly those involving fork lift trucks. They can help you get the compensation you deserve and will fight to ensure any loss of earnings are recovered and focus on getting you the treatment and rehabilitation programs you may need.

To speak to an experienced and friendly solicitor at Freeclaim call 0800 612 7340 for a no obligation chat or go to www.freeclaim.co.uk