While the potential for an accident at work exists in every industry, some jobs carry a higher-than-average risk. If you work in a California warehouse or distribution center, you are among those who are more vulnerable to injury because of the nature of your job and the type of equipment you use.
Forklifts, for example, can be deceptively dangerous. They are small and compact, but the job they perform requires them to be extremely heavy. A forklift accident can happen in the blink of an eye, and if you are involved, you have the chance of suffering a life-changing injury.
Many areas of danger
Even a small forklift can weigh nearly twice as much as an SUV. They typically reach speeds of only about 20 mph, but even at its lowest speed, a machine that heavy can inflict catastrophic injuries if it strikes you. Additionally, you can easily suffer injuries while operating a forklift, for example:
- An unstable load may topple back onto you.
- Lifting a load off balance can tip the forklift onto its side.
- Traveling too quickly up or down an incline can cause tipping.
- Careless placement of a load may cause you to clip the racks, creating a collapse.
- Driving too quickly or taking turns too fast can lead to a collision with shelving, other forklifts or other objects.
Of course, if you drive a forklift daily, it is important not to become complacent about basic safety rules, such as wearing your seatbelt, keeping your hands and feet inside the cab, and driving with your lift down.
Qualify to do the job
Safety training for forklift operators should be of the highest concern in your workplace. Operating each of the many varieties of forklifts requires special skill, knowledge and hands-on experience. If you or any of your co-workers operate one of these machines without proper certification, you are violating rules established by the Occupational Safety and Health Association, and this could result in serious ramifications.
However, even if you receive adequate training, you may still suffer an accident on the job. An accident involving a forklift or other heavy machinery may require a lengthy recover. This means time off work and, likely, medical bills. You will rely on the workers’ compensation insurance benefits your employer provides. To ensure you receive the maximum benefits you deserve, you would be wise to seek legal guidance throughout the workers’ compensation claims process.