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Why do lift truck accidents occur?

According to the National Forklift Exchange, there are approximately one million forklifts in use in the United States. Furthermore, there are 1.5 million operators.

From manufacturing companies to warehouses, these pieces of equipment are used on a daily basis. While forklifts make for a more efficient process, they also increase the chance of an accident.

Here are five of the most common reasons for a lift truck accident:

-- Speeding. Just the same as a motor vehicle, lift truck operators should never drive too fast. OSHA advises operators to never travel at a speed in excess of five miles per hour.

-- Poorly trained driver. It takes the appropriate training in order to feel comfortable as a lift truck operator.

-- Improper turning. When a forklift is not carrying a heavy load, it loses some stability. Turning too quickly can result in the machine tipping over.

-- Insufficient markings. Not only does the operator need to pay attention to what he or she is doing, but others must be aware of what is going on around them. This is why markings, such as floor tape, are extremely important.

-- Giving rides to somebody else. A forklift is meant to transport heavy loads, not other workers.

Lift trucks are used for many reasons in many industries. As long as everybody remains safe, this type of equipment is extremely useful. Unfortunately, there are times when an accident occurs. In this case, the victim could be seriously injured or even killed. Furthermore, an accident will result in an investigation regarding what caused the incident and who was responsible.

Source: National Forklift Exchange, "7 Most Common Causes of Lift Truck Accidents," accessed June 15, 2015

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