• 01 Nov 2022

The Most Common Forklift Accidents and How to Prevent Them

Every year in the UK there are hundreds of serious injuries, including fatalities, to forklift truck operators and pedestrians, which could have been prevented if staff were properly trained and followed safe systems of work. Within the material handling industry alone, there are over 1,300 forklift truck accidents a year, which means on average there are five accidents every workday in the UK.

When we look at statistics from the United States, these numbers are even more staggering with an average of 95 people being seriously injured in forklift accidents EVERY DAY and 1 person losing their life due to forklift accidents EVERY 4 DAYS. Approximately 11% of forklifts in the U.S. will be involved in an accident each year.

Many readers think of pedestrian impacts or rollovers when they think of forklift accidents but there are many other reasons for forklift accidents which are regularly unrecognised, yet they come among the top ten reasons for injury and death.

Within the top ten reasons for injury and death is forklift mechanical failures. Forklift trucks are covered under OSHA and PUWER, and just like any other piece of machinery: They need to be maintained regularly. When a forklift truck is left to deteriorate, accidents, breakdowns and other safety issues are inevitable. OSHA requires that operators inspect their forklift truck prior to use. Completing forklift inspections before operating them will help identify issues / faults both big and small. If a fault is found during a pre-use forklift inspection, quarantine the equipment until the issue is repaired. Correcting faults both big and small is key to the safe use of a forklift truck.

The main causes of mechanical failures on forklift trucks (which subsequently cause injury or death) are worn brakes, leaking fluids and worn or damaged tires. However, within the top ten reasons for injury and death by forklift is another cause which is also contributed to mechanical failures: Emissions Poisoning.

Whilst battery powered forklift trucks are steadily becoming the preferred choice for many businesses world wide, there are still many gas and diesel forklifts in operation. Operating these types of forklifts without completing regular inspections presents an extreme hazard to employees. Within the 5 main causes of emission poisoning includes: Incorrect fuel mixture and leaking exhausts, both of which could easily be identified during a forklift truck inspection.

Regularly inspecting your forklifts as part of a preventative maintenance and safety regime will help you spot hazards and ensure equipment is maintained in safe working order. Inspections ensure that engineers can take action before faults cause minor injury, serious harm or death.

Between both Good to Go Safety and TakeAIM we can offer the perfect solution to complete pre-use forklift inspections for any company.

TakeAIM is a safety inspection and maintenance APP (free on both GooglePlay and App Store) which enables companies to complete inspections of absolutely ANY equipment type. Coupled with a web platform, TakeAIM provides analysis, visibility and insights to help companies manage workplace equipment. Each inspection is automatically sent to management via wifi (inspections can be completed without wifi - once connection is re-established) with the ability to attach photos or annotations to provide additional information on faults or advisories found.

The TakeAIM web platform also hosts a maintenance log which allows you to easily monitor the time taken to resolve issues, keep track of who is responsible and even keep a record of replacement parts ordered. Registering an account takes a minute, plus you'll have access to the system for 7 days completely free (no credit card details required). If you find TakeAIM useful and wish to stay with us after the 7 day free trial, the good news is that TakeAIM is a pay as you go system - there's no monthly contract and credit bundles start at an amazing £6.25 for 25 inspections. Click here to view all our pricing bundles.

At Good to Go Safety, we understand that using a mobile phone for the TakeAIM APP is a security risk for some companies. In these circumstances we would suggest the use of our easy to use Forklift Truck Inspection Checklists. The Good to Go Safety Forklift Inspection Book is a flexible safety inspection system which can be used on a pre-use, ad-hoc, daily or weekly basis. Once a pre-use forklift safety inspection has been completed, the forklift checklist is inserted into a status tag to display the safety inspection findings and the date of completion. This removes the risk of any employee assuming the forklift truck is safe for use.

Read more about U.S. Forklift Statistics.
Read more about Safety Month.

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