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5 Common Reasons Behind Forklift Accidents & Injuries at Work


Forklift accidents often cause life-threatening injuries, financial hardship, and emotional turmoil. Here are some of the most common reasons these accidents occur.

Over 34,900 tragic forklift accidents result in serious injuries in the U.S annually. Most of these accidents can leave their victims with life-threatening injuries, financial hardships, and emotional turmoil when they happen. So, what are the common forklift operator accidents and injuries, and how can you avoid them?

forklift in missouri warehouse

Forklift Tip Over

While forklifts can handle heavy loads with ease and stability, they can tip over, causing serious injuries or even death.

To prevent a forklift tip over, lift only the recommended load limits and keep them as low as possible. Also, never jump off a tipping forklift because 42% of forklift deaths happen when operators try to jump from a tipping truck.

Falling Loads

Unbalanced loads can fall off forklifts and cause accidents to operators and nearby people. To avoid these accidents from happening to you, ensure you secure the load properly and drive within the recommended speed limit.

Mechanical Failures

Like any machinery, forklifts are also prone to mechanical failure. Common mechanical breakdowns in forklifts include leaking hoses, damaged tires, and brake failures.

To minimize the occurrence of forklift accidents due to mechanical failures, ensure the forklifts are constantly serviced. Constant servicing will keep the forklifts in good shape, enhance their performance, and improve safety when using them.

Falling from a Forklift

With so many activities at the workplace, you can easily get distracted, lose your balance, and fall. To avoid dangerous falls, adhere to the set safety measures and use guardrails properly.

Loading Dock Accidents

Anything can go wrong when operating a forklift near a loading dock. For example, the loading dock may be slippery, causing the forklift to fall off. Also, the weight of the forklift entering the truck may lurch it forward, causing an accident. It would help to ensure the dock has a safety barrier before using it and chock trailer wheels before loading.

Most Common Injuries

Here are the most common injuries you may suffer in the scope of this risky job.

Head Injuries

 A tipping forklift or falling loads may cause traumatic injuries to your head. Fortunately, this can be avoided by wearing a hard hat every time you’re operating a forklift.

Chronic Pain

Repetitive movements when operating a forklift can take a toll on your body, leading to musculoskeletal injuries.


Ordinarily, if a coworker were to come your way while operating a forklift, you’d automatically hit the brakes to avoid collisions. Unfortunately, sudden braking can cause abrupt neck movement, which may leave you with whiplash injuries.

Broken Limbs and Fractures

 Assuming you’re ejected from a moving forklift, you’ll likely land on a blunt object and end up with severe fractures on your limbs or even your spinal cord.

Speak With an Experienced Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney

Have you been injured in a forklift accident and need a workers’ comp attorney to help ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to?

The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has over 30 years of experience protecting the rights of injured Missouri workers. Get in touch with us today by calling (314) 361-4300 and scheduling a free case evaluation.

Updated: October 7, 2021
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