Although the sixth annual National Forklift Safety Day was held on June 11, safety authorities remind employers that it is not a single-day problem. Forklift accidents in California and other states claim lives and cause permanent or temporary disability throughout the year. The day of emphasis is there to underscore the importance of compliance with state and federal safety standards, and to remind employers to provide safety training and enforce safety rules.
Forklifts come in different sizes and are designed for various tasks or operations, and operators must receive training for each type of vehicle that they will operate. This includes training to do daily inspections, and the workers must be familiar with the areas in which they will operate the lift trucks. Refresher training and evaluation at scheduled intervals to make sure operators remain able to do this dangerous job is crucial.
It is not only forklift operators who are at risk of injuries but also co-workers who share their work areas with forklifts. Training should include these employees to establish proper communication between them and the forklift operators. Both forklift drivers and pedestrians must be alert at all times. Unfortunately, most accidents that involve lift trucks cause severe injuries, and some are even fatal.
Even with the annual reminders on National Forklift Safety Day, accidents still cause temporary disability or worse. Victims might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to help them cope with medical bills and lost wages. An experienced California workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the benefits claims process. This also applies to families who have lost loved ones in forklift-related accidents. Survivors’ benefits cover end-of-life expenses along with a wage-replacement package.