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What factors can lead to a forklift accident?

Forklifts are used in warehouses in Maryland and across the country. While these essential machines are used to move heavy products from place to place, they may pose a critical threat to operators who are not using them correctly. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nearly 100,000 workers are injured and killed every year as the result of forklift accidents. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees receive the proper training on how to use these large machines correctly.

There are several factors that can lead to serious forklift accidents. In addition to poor training, the warehouse may be designed in such a way that makes it difficult to maneuver the forklift down narrow aisles or through heavy traffic. Furthermore, poorly stacked loads or items that are placed haphazardly on the forklift may cause problems for the driver, as well as the people who are in the driver’s way. For example, the load may be stacked too high, making it difficult for the forklift operator to see where he or she is going.

Employers are also responsible for keeping the forklifts well maintained and in good working condition. Critical malfunctions, such as brake, steering, transmission or safety device damage, may cause a machine to break down while it is being used. In some cases, the forklift operator may be traveling too fast or fail to warn others when braking, accelerating or turning. All of these factors should be considered before using a forklift.  

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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