Forklift trucks as we know are often found in factories and warehouses across Ireland. They are considered a very hazardous vehicle in the workplace with many dangers associated with them. It can be quite easy over time to become complacent working around forklifts as they are a usual part of many workplaces and move around quietly. Unfortunately when an accident involving a forklift arises the consequences can be quite severe if not fatal. Recent Health and Safety Authority (HSA) statistics tell us that at least one person a year is killed in Ireland in incidents involving forklifts. A common feature seems to be heavy loads falling off the forklift onto a person below and additionally significant injuries are caused to people in Irish workplaces each year and these accidents can arise through lack of proper training and supervision which is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the workplace is safe and people in it are suitably trained and the equipment provided is free from faults.
Why can forklift accidents happen?
- Collisions – a forklift driver may unintentionally hit into an object which in turn could topple onto a person causing them injury
- Stepping off – the forklift driver when exiting from the forklift may suffer a fall and injury if the ground is uneven or in poor repair
- Pedestrian strikes – the forklift driver might strike a person nearby causing them an injury
- Excessive load – if the forklift is loaded beyond its manufacturer’s capacity that could cause the forklift load to topple over causing injury to the driver and/or people in the vicinity
- Careless or reckless driving – if the forklift driver is not paying proper attention or is in some way negligently driving the forklift or perhaps driving under the influence of an intoxicant causes an injury to somebody else
- Defective ground – if the forklift is operating in an area that has defective ground or poor ground repair causing the forklift or its load to become unstable possibly toppling causing an injury to the driver or somebody unfortunate enough to be close by
Obligations on the employer to prevent forklift accidents
Under the Health, Safety and Welfare law the employer in Ireland has a duty to ensure a safe place of work for all employees which includes carrying out a risk assessment and proper training along with the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). The forklift itself must be kept in good repair and fit for purpose and it is essential that maintenance is kept up-to-date ensuring the forklift is always in a safe working condition. In addition each year forklifts must be examined by a suitably qualified person to ensure that it continues to operate safely.
Our personal injury compensation claims solicitors
If you have suffered injury involving a forklift you may be able to make a claim for compensation. It is important you seek advice as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. We believe in putting you our client first and we are committed to achieving the best result possible while all the time remaining sensitive to your needs. Please feel free to reach out to us below and will be pleased to discuss your case and offer no obligation advice.