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Safety Regulations for Operating Forklifts

By Michael LoGiudice
Founding Attorney

Some of the most common machines you will see on a construction site are forklifts. These powered industrial lift trucks are used by construction workers each day. There is little to no room for error, negligence, or complacency when operating or working around these pieces of machinery. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that there are around 35,000 forklift-related serious injuries and 85 forklift-related worker fatalities each year. If you have been injured in a construction site forklift accident, you may have suffered devastating, debilitating injuries. Focus on your health and recovery while Attorney Michael LoGiudice works to help secure maximum compensation for all of the losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries.

What are the Safety Regulations for Operating Forklifts? 

First and foremost, it is against federal law for anyone below the age of 18 to operate a forklift. Additionally, it is a violation of federal law for anyone over the age of 18 to operate a forklift if they have not received proper training and certification. OSHA has specific forklift certification and training requirements. Employers must be prepared to make sure every employee who operates a forklift is competent and has received the proper training.

Additionally, OSHA mandates that forklifts be inspected daily or after every shift if the machines are used around the clock. This inspection should include things like whether the forklift has a seatbelt and whether that seatbelt is functional. The inspection should also include looking out for things such as:

    • Fuel leaks;
    • Tire pressure;
    • Fluid levels;
    • Functioning of brakes;
    • Functioning of horn and lights; and
    Functioning of gauges.

Proper training of forklift operators as well as regular maintenance and inspection of all forklifts can save lives and prevent serious injury. That is why there are these important regulations in place. When employers, contractors, subcontractors, and other parties neglect to enforce these safety regulations, people get hurt.

What are the Most Common Types of Forklift Accidents?

According to OSHA, the most common type of forklift accidents involve:

    • Forklift rollovers;
    • Back-up collisions;
    • Falling material and debris from the forklift;
    • Falling from forklift platforms;
    • Mechanical failures due to improper maintenance and failure to conduct regular safety inspections;
    • Operator error due to improper forklift operator training;
    • Workers being crushed between a forklift and another vehicle or wall;
    • Forklifts falling from loading docks or an unsecured trailer on a tractor-trailer truck; and
    Workers falling from standing on raised pallets.

Protecting Your Legal Rights After Suffering Injury in A Construction Site Forklift Accident.

If you have been injured in a construction site accident, you should be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, these benefits can be less than adequate for covering all of your expenses that result from suffering from an on the job injury. Attorney Michael LoGiudice will pursue all avenues of monetary recovery including possible third-party claims where someone else’s negligence resulted in you suffering injury. Contact Attorney LoGiudice today.

About the Author
Michael LoGiudice handles all personal injury and medical malpractice claims. He is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School (1997) and has many verdicts and settlements totaling in the tens of millions of dollars.
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