Common Lift Truck Accidents and How to Avoid Them 1

Common Lift Truck Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Lift trucks, also known as forklifts, are essential machines used to move materials and goods in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and warehousing. However, operating a lift truck can be risky and dangerous if not done correctly. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are more than 95,000 forklift accidents annually. These accidents can cause injuries, fatalities, and property damage. Therefore, it is crucial to understand common lift truck accidents and how to avoid them to ensure safety in the workplace.

Tip-over Accidents

Tip-over accidents are the most common forklift accidents. They occur when a lift truck flips over. These accidents usually happen when the lift truck is overloaded, the load is unbalanced, or when the operator drives on a steep slope or uneven surface. To prevent these types of accidents, operators should always check the weight of the load and never exceed the lift truck’s capacity. They should also ensure that the load is properly balanced and secured before moving it. Operators must avoid steep slopes and be careful when driving on uneven surfaces.

Struck-by Accidents

Around 25% of forklift accidents are struck-by accidents. These accidents happen when the lift truck collides with another object, person, or vehicle. Operators should always keep their hands and feet inside the lift truck and use the seat belt to prevent falling out of the machine. It is also essential to keep a clear view when driving and use horns or warning signals when approaching others in the work area.

Crushing Accidents

Crushing accidents occur when a person is pinned between the lift truck and an object or when the operator is trapped in the lift truck. These accidents usually occur due to poor visibility, failure to follow safety regulations or lack of training. To prevent crushing accidents, lift trucks must be equipped with visual aids such as cameras or mirrors to improve visibility. Operators must also ensure they have enough training in operating the machinery, follow safety regulations, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

Falling Object Accidents

Falling object accidents happen when the cargo falls off the forks of the lift truck. These accidents can cause severe injuries to operators, bystanders, or damage equipment. Operators must always check the load to ensure it is secure before moving it. They should also drive slowly to avoid the cargo falling off the forks and avoid sharp turns or sudden stops, which may cause the load to shift.

Pedestrian Accidents

Forklifts and pedestrians share the same work area, which can lead to pedestrian accidents. These accidents can occur when the operator fails to see the pedestrian or when the pedestrian does not see the lift truck. It is essential to mark pedestrian walkways and limit the areas where pedestrians and lift trucks come into contact. Operators must keep a clear view when driving, use horns or warning signals when approaching pedestrians, and never drive over a pedestrian’s foot or ankle.


Lift trucks are essential machines in various industries, but operators must operate them safely to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities. By understanding common lift truck accidents and how to avoid them, operators can ensure workplace safety by following safety regulations, using personal protective equipment, and having adequate training. It is also essential to keep the lift trucks well-maintained, inspect them every day, and fix any problems. Employers should provide continuous training to their operators and ensure that their work environment is designed for safe lift truck operations. By doing so, employers can protect their employees, increase productivity, and minimize damage to equipment and products. Looking to learn more about the subject? Visit the recommended external website, where additional information and supplementary material await. osha forklift certification, broaden your understanding of the subject!

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Common Lift Truck Accidents and How to Avoid Them 2