New Jersey Forklift Accident Attorneys
Proudly serving all of New Jersey
Forklifts or lift trucks are powered industrial trucks that are used to lift and move heavy materials over short distances. They are commonly used in construction sites, factories, and warehouses. Unfortunately, sometimes forklift drivers become distracted or fail to follow safety protocols, resulting in severe injuries to the people in their vicinity. Because of the size and weight of forklift loads, an injury from a forklift can result in permanent disability or death.
Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., is here to protect your legal rights and ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. Our New Jersey on the job injury lawyers have successfully prosecuted forklift cases for injured workers and gotten them the money they needed to recover. Call us today at (609) 240-0040 for a free consultation about your situation, and we will let you know how we can help.
OSHA estimates that every year, forklifts cause about 85 fatal accidents, 34,900 accidents with serious injury, and 61,800 more accidents classified as non-serious. According to the Industrial Truck Association, there are about 855,900 forklifts in the U.S. Therefore, over 11% of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident each year (assuming only one accident per forklift). Studies show that many of these accidents could have been prevented by better training.
Factors that contribute to forklift trucks accidents are:
- Driving the forklift at high speed
- Incorrect backing-up techniques
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Blind spots
- Giving rides on the forklift load
- Not warning others that a forklift will be operated in the area
- Improper parking of forklift
- Age of forklift
- Poor maintenance of forklift
- Lack of training for the forklift operator
- Lack of proper attachments
- Stunt driving
To prevent forklift accidents from occurring, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created a manual of standards. Under OSHA’s rules found in Title 29 Labor code:
- No person shall be allowed to stand or pass under the elevated portion of any truck, whether loaded or empty.
- Unauthorized personnel shall not be permitted to ride on powered industrial trucks. A safe place to ride shall be provided where riding of trucks is authorized.
- The employer shall prohibit arms or legs from being placed between the uprights of the mast or outside the running lines of the truck.
- When a powered industrial truck is left unattended, load engaging means shall be fully lowered, controls shall be neutralized, power shall be shut off, and brakes set. Wheels shall be blocked if the truck is parked on an incline.
- A powered industrial truck is unattended when the operator is 25 ft. or more away from the vehicle which remains in his view, or whenever the operator leaves the vehicle and it is not in his view.
- Only approved industrial trucks shall be used in hazardous locations.
- All traffic regulations shall be observed, including authorized plant speed limits. A safe distance shall be maintained approximately three truck lengths from the truck ahead, and the truck shall be kept under control at all times.
Employers and lift operators must follow many additional rules as well. OSHA holds all American employers responsible for ensuring all their forklift operators are trained, evaluated, and certified before operating a lift truck. If the employer fails to do that in New Jersey, he could face a $7,000 fine from OSHA, and be held liable in court by any worker or bystander injured by the forklift.
If you or a family member suffered an injury related to a forklift accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Employers must maintain safe working conditions for all of their employees. When dangerous conditions present themselves, employers have to fix those conditions, or at the very least, warn their employees of the risks involved. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide employees with a safe working environment each day, and when it comes to dangerous machinery like forklifts, employers, supervisors, and workers must take extra precautions, and never violate OSHA’s standards.
Our New Jersey forklift accident attorneys have litigated forklift injury cases before, so we understand all your concerns. We are here to help you and your family. Call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., at (609) 240-0040 today for a free consultation.
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