Forklifts often bring out the boys in men. However, regardless of the temptation to have some fun, these machines must be seen for what they are — dangerous. Workers who are injured at work are typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, if injuries occurred during horseplay on a forklift, claims might be denied. Colorado employers are responsible for the safety of employees, and one way to avoid forklift injuries is to enforce safety regulations.
Only those who are adequately trained, certified and authorized must operate lift trucks. The operator must always wear the seat belt to avoid being ejected if the machine flips over. When driving a loaded forklift up an incline, the vehicle must travel forward with the load in front. When bringing a load down the slope, the forklift must be reversed down with the weight of the cargo facing the incline. Workers on the ground must never walk underneath the forks of the truck, nor must the forks be used to elevate other workers to higher levels.
Employers must provide safety training to teach forklift operators and pedestrian workers how to look out for each other. Too many workplace injuries, and even fatalities, follow workers who are crushed against other surfaces by forklifts because somebody was not alert. Operators moving loads that limit their views of the paths to travel must go backward and turn to see where to go. Parked forklifts must be left in neutral with the keys removed, to avoid unintentional activation.
Anyone in Colorado who was injured at work can pursue financial relief through the workers’ compensation insurance program of the state. Not all claims are accepted, and any victim of a workplace injury whose claim is denied has the right to appeal the rejection. However, this can be a complicated process, and the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney might ease the process and secure fair compensation.