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Workers’ compensation: Forklift safety can save money and lives

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2017 | Workplace Safety |

Forklifts are an important part of various industries in Colorado and pose safety hazards wherever they are used. For some reason, forklifts often form part of horseplay, and employers who fail to enforce strict forklift safety protocols may find that serious injuries result. Significant increases in insurance premiums can also follow because every workers’ compensation claim may cause an increase.

To prevent forklift accidents, there are certain things to avoid such as not driving while fatigued or taking medication that causes drowsiness. Warehouses with rows of shelving usually have multiple intersections and blind spots where passing other lift trucks can be dangerous. Forklift operators do not have the right of way, and pedestrians must be considered by making sure they are always aware of the presence of a forklift. Heading to an object in front of which workers are standing can cause severe injuries or even death if the operator of the forklift should lose control.

Speeding must never take place, not even when there is no load on the forks, and safety advisors say a forklift should not be driven faster than the pace of a person walking. Loads must be stacked securely and balanced, because too high, top-heavy or leaning loads can cause the machine to tip over. Turning too fast can have the same result. Operators must avoid potholes, oil slicks, ice and snow, along with unknown liquids (which might be flammable).

Using a propane or gas driven forklift in a closed area could cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, and staying in such areas too long can be life-threatening. Another area where special care must be taken is traveling up and down ramps, as forklifts can easily tip or roll over. Any Colorado victim of a forklift accident on the job can pursue financial assistance by filing benefits claims with the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program. Medical expenses and lost wages typically form part of the benefits.

Source:, “10 Forklift Safety Mistakes to Avoid“, Accessed on March 27, 2017


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