Forklift accidents: Unsteady loads

Forklift trucks are a revolutionary 20th century invention that ensure efficiency and increased productivity in the workplace. However, forklifts can also be a major source of work-related accidents.  The HSE reports that between 2001/2002 and 2005/2006 21,190 workplace accidents involving forklift trucks were reported.

Of these 94 were fatal, 5,758 were major and 15,338 resulted in people being off work for three or more days. On average, forklifts are involved in 24 per cent of workplace transport accidents with the main causes being attributed to poor supervision whilst operating a forklift, and a lack of training for employees who use a forklift.

However, a number of other reasons may cause a forklift operator to have an accident. For example, a forklift driver may experience an accident as the result of an unsteady load. An unsteady load may not only result in the injury of the operator but can also be a significant liability for any company which uses a forklift. This was apparent when a forklift operator from Russia was trying to navigate a warehouse with an unsteady load when he crashed, resulting in the loss of over $1 million of cognac and wine.

What is an unsteady load for a forklift?

An unsteady load occurs when the goods placed on a forklift are not properly stacked resulting in uneven weight distribution and, consequently, impaired steering and control for a forklift operator leading to an increased risk of an accident in the workplace.

How can I avoid an unsteady load on a forklift?

  • When travelling with a load, ensure it is tilted back with the forks as low as possible, this will increase the overall stability of the forklift truck.
  • Never travel or turn with the forks raised high above the floor.
  • Always be aware of overhead obstructions when lifting or stacking loads.
  • Ensure that loads are stacked carefully and be aware that they may fall when being stacked.

If you have been a victim of a forklift accident within the last 3 years as a result of an uneven load, and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. At Accident Advice Helpline our friendly and professional advisers are on hand 24/7 to provide help and advice.

You are under no obligation to proceed with any potential claims that may be discussed. Alternatively, you can find out online in 30 seconds or less whether you are eligible or not for. Check out Accident Advice Helpline.

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