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Forklift driving and the law

Fork lifts are used throughout a variety of industries, from manufacturing environments and warehouses to construction sites and anything in between. In accordance with the law, employers must comply with the 1998 Regulation for Provision and Use of Work Equipment when allowing employees to drive forklifts.

This means forklift trucks must be suited to their intended use and should only be used by employees who have been adequately trained in their use. Forklift drivers must also be given relevant manufacturer’s instructions. Forklifts must be fitted with appropriate controls and guarding. In addition, written instructions must be followed where appropriate.

Other legal requirements to prevent forklift accidents at work

In addition to appropriate training being given to all forklift drivers by accredited providers of forklift training, employees operating a forklift truck have to be physically able to perform this ask. Other rules state that:

  • Depots, factories and warehouses must have a working areas designed for use of forklifts
  • Pedestrian/ forklift crossing points must be available
  • Where necessary, people prohibited areas should be incorporated
  • Forklift widths/ heights must be accounted for
  • Clear signs and adequate markings on barriers/ structures in areas of rare or frequent movements should be provided

Work accidents involving forklifts

According to findings by the FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association), at least 5 workers are killed in workplace accidents involving forklifts every year. At least 500 more are hospitalised following major injuries in forklift accidents, many of which involve crushing and amputations, just like the young man in the video above.

Over 3,000,000 more workers suffer injuries at work by forklift accidents requiring a minimum of three days’ hospital time/ ecovery. National Statistics data revealed that one in 12 employees in the UK regularly works with/close to used forklifts, but less than half of them received the minimum recommended training. The workplace accident YouTube 3 video should give you quite an alarming insight into potential dangers will are all around us.

Potential claims for compensation

The injured young man in the workplace accident YouTube video operated a forklift within an unsafe area and in an unsafe manner.

Establishing fault – It may look like the accident was entirely his own fault. As it turns out, he was not given adequate training by his employer and he was only 16 years old at the time of the accident. In addition, he believed that the area was safe enough as it was frequented by other, more experienced drivers.

Claim potential – A claim for compensation may succeed on the basis that his employer allowed him to drive a forklift at such a young age, without proper training and in an area not clearly marked.

Accident Advice Helpline

If you believe you may have a claim for injury at work, the adviser at Accident Advice Helpline will answer your call any time, day or night, to discuss the accident and establish your claim eligibility.