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Can I make a forklift accident claim?

If you have been injured in a forklift truck accident, you may be able to claim compensation. The term forklift truck not only includes the trucks themselves, but can also include reach trucks, which are used to lift and lower items from high stacks or shelving, and stand up trucks, which are operated by drivers standing on the truck to control and steer them.

There are many different things that can cause an accident to happen. These can include:

  • Insufficient training – to drive a forklift truck in the UK, you must have undertaken certified forklift training by an accredited provider. If you have not undertaken this training, and your employer asks you to operate a forklift and you are injured as a result, you may be able to claim compensation.
  • Defective machinery – any machinery in a workplace should be maintained and kept in good working order. Regular checks are important to ensure they are working safely and correctly.
  • Unsuitable conditions – whether its uneven surfaces causing the forklift to tilt and lose balance, driving forklifts within the same area as pedestrians, or using them for inappropriate tasks, all of these things can result in forklift accidents.
  • Falling items – reach trucks causing items in high stacks to be pushed too far over the stack and falling down on the other side.
  • Incorrect loading and operating – this can include loads not being secured correctly and falling off the truck and onto someone, as well as loads being elevated when the forklift is moving.

Unfortunately, most accidents at work caused by forklift trucks could have been prevented by employers implementing the correct system of use and accurately assessing risks. Employers must assess the risks to everyone, not just the drivers and take appropriate measures to protect their staff from the risk of injury.

It is also advisable that employers provide workers with adequate safety equipment. This can include such things as fluorescent jackets, so pedestrians can be easily recognised and seen by drivers of forklift trucks, as well as hard hats and safety boots, to better protect them if they are struck by a forklift truck.

It is not only workers and their colleagues that can be in danger of injury due to a forklift accident. Business owners must also protect the general public and visitors to their premises, for example, contractors or shoppers in DIY stores, wholesalers and garden centres.

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