The Forklift Operator Is Injured While Climbing Aboard or Stepping Off the Forklift Truck

While the forklift truck operator steps up to his truck and steps down from the truck many
times during the course of a working shift, this apparently simple action has resulted in
many knee and ankle injuries, and the cause is not entirely clear. In many instances, it
may be that the sudden transfer of body weight onto one leg when the person either steps
up to the truck or steps down places all the weight on one leg. In some instances the
operator may step off the truck and step onto a piece of dunnage lying on the floor or
another stray object, severely twisting the ankle or knee. The simple remedy in this
instance is to look before you leap, figuratively speaking. Therefore, the forklift truck
operator must always be aware of his/her surroundings and pay attention to his/her next
move.

The Forklift Truck Driver Does Not Recognize a Potentially Serious Accident Situation
Ahead and Fails to Slow Down

While forklift truck overturning accidents are relatively infrequent, almost every operator
has had close calls with this potential accident type. This is another serious kind of
accident that can result in a fatality and it usually happens to the newer employee or the
rookie operator. In each instance of an accident occurrence, it could have been
prevented if the operator had sized up the situation and reduced the truck’s forward speed.
Traveling too rapidly around a corner or down a ramp can be extremely dangerous for
both the vehicle and the operator. While three-wheeled vehicles are less common today
than they were several decades ago, they are still around and it should be realized that
they have less stability than the four-wheeled vehicles; however, exceedingly high speeds
can overturn both three- wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles. In addition, carrying a load
too high raises a truck’s center of gravity and is potentially hazardous, especially when
combined with high speed and turning corners.

Vehicle Runs into Another Mobile Piece of Equipment

In a plant with more than a few forklift trucks and other pieces of mobile equipment, the
collision between vehicles can occur, especially when one of the units is smaller than the
forklift truck. For example, small personnel carriers, carts, scooters, and bicycles which are
often used in many physical distribution centers, are not as visible and are quiet in
operation. When these vehicles are driven carelessly at high speeds, they become
potential accident situations, especially at aisle intersections of the plant. Since
supervisors and expediters usually are driving these smaller units, they should be the first
ones to realize the potential hazards of their vehicles in the plant and set an example to
the forklift operators by pausing at intersections and looking in both directions, just as if
they were crossing a busy highway.