The Risks of Working with Forklifts, Cherry Pickers and Other Powered Industrial Equipment

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Every year, thousands of workers across Indiana are injured in accidents involving powered industrial equipment such as forklifts, cherry pickers, and other heavy machinery. These accidents can result in serious injuries, lost wages, and extensive medical bills, and can leave workers struggling to support themselves and their families. If you have been injured while operating powered industrial equipment, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. At Klezmer Maudlin, PC, our Indianapolis workers compensation attorneys specialize in helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve. Our team of experienced workplace injury attorneys has a record of success in handling work injury cases and fighting to protect Indiana worker rights.

Warehouses and Powered Industrial Equipment

With a rise in online shopping, our society has become increasingly dependent upon warehouse workers to fulfill our orders. Many of these hardworking warehouse employees use powered industrial equipment to move and fulfill products. Warehouses are full of forklifts that are busily racing around the facility, cherry pickers that are moving products up high, and much more industrial power equipment that poses constant risks to operators and other warehouse workers.

What Are the Risks of Working with Forklifts in Indiana?

Working with forklifts is a necessity for many industries in Indiana, but it is also a significant hazard that requires proper attention to forklift safety. Blind spots, collisions, intersections, inclines, puddles, poor lighting, and maneuvering in tight spaces are just a few of the risks that forklift operators and pedestrians face daily. Therefore, it’s crucial to follow safety protocols to prevent accidents and injuries. Operators should be trained to identify and avoid hazards, maintain proper operating clearances, and keep the forklift under control. Employers should also ensure that their operators are adequately trained and certified and that their forklifts are properly maintained and inspected to prevent mechanical failures that can lead to accidents. By being aware of the hazards and taking proactive steps to mitigate risks, workers and employers can significantly reduce the likelihood of forklift accidents in the workplace.

Prevalence of Forklift Injuries

Forklifts are widely used in Indiana warehouses, construction sites, and manufacturing facilities. However, the convenience and efficiency of forklifts come at a cost: these machines can cause serious injuries or even fatalities if not operated or maintained properly. Forklift accidents account for approximately 70 fatalities and 7,290 non-fatal injuries every year in the United States.

What Are Some Causes of Forklift Accidents?

Many factors can contribute to forklift accidents in Indiana. Some of the most common causes include operator error, lack of training, mechanical defects, and poor maintenance. Forklift operators may make mistakes such as driving too fast, failing to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles, or not following proper loading and unloading procedures. In some cases, operators may also use forklifts for purposes they were not designed for, such as lifting people or materials that exceed the weight limit of the forklift.

Lack of training or inadequate training is another significant factor in forklift accidents, as operators may not know how to inspect the forklift, use it safely, or react to unexpected situations. Finally, mechanical defects or poor maintenance can cause forklift malfunctions or breakdowns, leading to accidents or injuries. Employers in Indiana are responsible for ensuring that their forklifts are properly maintained and inspected and that their operators are trained and competent.

What Are the Risks of Working with Cherry Pickers in Indiana?

Cherry pickers, also known as boom lifts, are mobile platforms that can be raised or lowered to different heights. They are often used to access high areas for construction, maintenance, or repair work. Cherry pickers consist of a basket or platform that is attached to a hydraulic arm or boom. Workers stand on the platform to perform tasks at elevated heights.

Cherry picker accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Improper use: Workers who are not trained in the use of cherry pickers may not know how to properly operate them, leading to accidents.
  2. Equipment malfunctions: If the cherry picker is not regularly maintained, its parts can fail, causing accidents.
  3. Overloading: Cherry pickers have a weight limit, and if workers overload the platform, it can tip over.
  4. Weather conditions: High winds, rain, and snow can make it difficult to operate a cherry picker safely, leading to accidents.

The Importance of Following Safety Regulations

It’s essential to follow safety regulations when working with cherry pickers to prevent accidents and injuries. Employers should provide proper training to workers on how to operate the equipment safely. Workers should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as harnesses and hard hats, when working on the platform. Employers should also ensure that cherry pickers are regularly inspected and maintained to prevent equipment malfunctions. It’s crucial to follow weight limits, avoid overloading the platform, and never use a cherry picker in high winds or other hazardous weather conditions.

By following these safety regulations, workers can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries when working with cherry pickers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a cherry picker accident, contact our Indiana workplace injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Types of Workplace Forklift Injuries

Consider the frantic pace of stocking and fulfillment in warehouses. It can be quite frantic at times, and this creates potential danger throughout the day. Injuries from powered industrial equipment such as forklifts and cherry pickers can include:

  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Trauma to appendages or joints
  • Death

The causes of these accidents are varied, and can sometimes be attributed to a third party. If that’s the case, you may have just cause for pursuing a third-party lawsuit.

Our office sees a lot of warehouse injuries and we are well-equipped at handling the legal cases that surround significant injuries that result from accidents involving forklifts, cherry pickers, and other powered industrial equipment.

Contact an Experienced Forklift Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a cherry picker, forklift, or other powered industrial equipment, you may be entitled to compensation. Consult with an attorney who specializes in workplace injury cases to assess your situation. An experienced workplace injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, investigate the accident, and identify liable parties to help you receive the compensation you need and deserve.

A forklift injury can cause severe physical, emotional, and financial damages, and an attorney can help you pursue justice and protect your rights. Contact Klezmer Maudlin today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced forklift injury attorneys.

Klezmer Maudlin has offices throughout Indiana. Please feel free to call us.