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What are the most common injuries suffered by forklift operators?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Residents of Illinois who work on construction sites are particularly prone to on-the-job injuries. Depending on your responsibilities, you may suffer certain types of injuries that are common if you use a forklift while working. Fortunately, if you’re hurt while on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for medical expenses and lost wages.

Common types of forklift injuries

When a worker suffers injuries on the job while using a forklift, they may have to take time off work to recover fully. The following are the most common types of forklift injuries:

  • Head injuries: Forklifts have overhead guards, but they provide minimum protection from heavy objects falling from far above. As a result, head injuries are common among forklift workers.
  • Chronic pain: Using a forklift as a main part of work means sitting in the same position for hours at a time and using repetitive motions to control the forklift. Workers can sustain repetitive motion or strain injuries and suffer from chronic pain as a result.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash injuries can easily occur if a worker is operating a forklift at too high a speed and unable to stop before ending up in a collision. This can also occur if another worker or a passerby suddenly appears before the vehicle and the forklift worker scrambles to abruptly stop while traveling too fast.
  • Serious bodily injuries: A worker can suffer serious bodily injuries if the forklift suddenly crashes or turns over. If the person is thrown from the forklift, it can result in severe injuries and even death.

How can forklift injuries be prevented?

Forklift accidents often occur in warehouses and construction sites. They account for many workers’ compensation claims filed annually. However, repetitive injuries affecting the musculoskeletal areas of the body often occur as well. These injuries can be prevented through certain measures, including the following:

  • Safety training
  • Replacement of the seat of the forklift every three years
  • Anti-vibration cushion seat in the forklift
  • Backup handle installed on forklifts
  • Stretching exercises for forklift operators before and after shifts and during breaks
  • Protective gloves
  • Hard hats
  • Policies to keep floors free of clutter and debris

Even with the best training, forklift injuries can still occur. If you’ve been injured, you should file a workers’ comp claim quickly in order to be compensated.