Brian, Zwick, Stone & Associates
Law Firm in North Canton, Ohio
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Forklifts can be deadly weapons in warehouses and loading docks

Forklift operators can be as dangerous as negligent drivers on the highway. Those walking in a warehouse need to take as much care as pedestrians on city streets. Without question, workers in Ohio warehouses and loading docks need safety-focused workplaces.

Employers are required to comply with safety standards prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Engineering and administrative controls unique to the particular business must be in place. And employers must never lose sight of the importance of safety training.

The following are primary causes of forklift accidents involving workers on foot:

  • Driver or pedestrian inattention
  • Inadequate housekeeping like obstructed views and isles
  • Lack of barriers
  • Rushing
  • Fatigue
  • Distractions
  • Decreased risk perception
  • Complacency

Human factors must not be ignored. Unrealistic targets and deadlines can cause forklift operators and nearby workers to rush, cut corners and take shortcuts. Fatigue and frustration can exacerbate existing risks. Pedestrians who are distracted by their cellphones while on duty might disregard safety standards, potentially resulting catastrophic accidents.

When it comes to housekeeping, wet spills and randomly placed objects pose safety hazards. After years of doing a job without adverse incidents, complacency can risk the safety and even life of forklift operators and co-workers. Pedestrians and forklift operators must remain aware of each other all the time.

Ohio warehouse workers who are victims of forklift accidents may be unable to return to work for an extended period. Severe injuries might have life-changing consequences that affect the victim physically, mentally and financially. Fortunately, they will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that will cover all their medical expenses and lost wages for the period of temporary disability.