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Lack of safety training can cause forklift injuries

Forklifts are the pack mules of modern industrial life. They are extremely useful machines for transporting and storing goods and packing materials in warehouses and industrial settings. But they don't drive themselves; forklift drivers do indispensable duty every day in navigating through often-congested warehouse spaces at the fast or even frenetic pace required by their employers.

But driving a forklift in this setting is dangerous work. In Maryland and across the country, many employees are injured on the job because of this and require workers' compensation.

Following a forklift accident that seriously injured a worker in Chicago, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the company involved for safety violations. The company was responsible for setting up trade exhibits in the well-known McCormick Place exposition space.

At an exhibit of manufacturing technology last September, a worker nearly had to have his foot amputated after he was injured by a forklift driven by an employee of the company who was apparently not trained properly. OSHA has proposed fines against the company of over $90,000.

Technically, in OSHA's vocabulary, a forklift is often known as a "powered industrial truck." Most of us, of course, know refer to the machines are forklifts.

Whatever they are called, however, it is important that that those who operate them be trained properly. Training is a highly important element in the overall safety process in industrial settings, especially when potentially hazardous equipment is involved.

When employers fail to provide adequate training, workplace injuries - and the need for workers' comp - are often the result.

Source: "OSHA fines trade show contractor $91K in serious McCormick Place accident," Chicago Tribune, Kathy Bergen, 2-21-13

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post in Maryland. To learn more about our practice, please visit our main workers' compensation page.

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