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Forklift accidents at the workplace

Companies throughout the country rely on the use of forklifts for a variety of reasons. While these vehicles are extremely helpful, it's important to remember something else: They can be dangerous as well.

According to the United States Department of Labor, approximately 100 workers are fatally injured every year during the operation of a powered industrial truck. Of these, many are related to forklifts.

As if that statistic isn't scary enough, consider this: Roughly 95,000 people are injured in this type of accident. In other words, if you're going to be using a forklift or other type of industrial truck, it's imperative to do whatever it takes to remain safe.

Some of the best safety tips, both for employers and employees, include:

-- Be sure that any operator is trained and certified to operate the equipment in a safe manner.

-- A person under the age of 18 should never operate a forklift.

-- All equipment should be properly maintained.

-- Regularly examine forklifts for defects and anything else that could cause an accident.

-- Follow safe operating procedures at all times.

-- Operators should wear a seatbelt at all times.

If a person is involved in a forklift accident, he or she should immediately call for medical attention. These accidents can be serious, and as mentioned above, are often fatal.

In the event that you're injured in such an accident, don't wait too long to learn more about your legal rights. For instance, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim as to receive benefits until you're able to return to work.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Worker Safety Series: Construction," accessed Nov. 02, 2016

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