Forklift accidents can certainly cause serious injuries for people working in warehouses throughout Central Pennsylvania. Looking up and down Interstate 81 from Greencastle to Chambersburg to Carlisle and north, warehouses and distribution centers blanket the landscape. They produce jobs, which is a big reason that Central Pennsylvania can boast a low unemployment rate. The growth of warehousing along Interstate 81 continues. However, warehouses also bring more work injuries to a community. You can read about common warehouse injuries right here.
Heavy machinery, such as forklifts, pallet jacks, and other powered industrial trucks, can lead to significant injuries int he workplace, sometimes even resulting in the death of a worker. The latest OSHA data indicates about 100 forklift fatalities and approximately 35,000 serious forklift-related injuries each year. Add to that an additional 100,000 non-serious forklift accidents across the nation per year. These types of forklift accidents are becoming more frequent in the Chambersburg and Carlisle areas due to the warehousing sector growth.
There are common reasons these types of injuries occur. They are:
- Operators traveling at excessive speeds and not complying with safety protocols
- Operating with an elevated load
- Failure of the employer to adhere to proper maintenance of forklifts
- Inadequate training of employees that will operate the forklifts
- Improperly using forklifts by providing other employees a ride to another area of the warehouse
- Stunt or erratic driving, otherwise known are goofing off
- Poor communication with fellow employees while operating a forklift
- Forklift collisions
- Tip or roll overs while on the forklift
- Unsafe working conditions, such as too narrow of aisles or congested areas
- Being struck by loads or rack collapses while operating a forklift
- Forklift striking a pedestrian
- Forklift malfunctions
These are only the common ones I hear about in my workers compensation practice. They can all cause serious and life changing injuries to workers. Often times, these type of injuries have lasting effects, such as inability to perform that type of work any longer, enormous financial impacts on the injured worker, and can take a significant emotional toll on the injured worker.
If you are injured in a forklift accident in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Those benefits could be wage loss benefits while out of work, medical expenses paid, specific loss benefits, if applicable, and more. Besides workers compensation, an injured workers could potentially have a third-party claim. In these type of claims, there can be several potential defendants in forklift accident lawsuits in Pennsylvania. These type of lawsuits are outside the workers compensation arena and involve tort negligence based claims. For example, in an accident where a worker was struck by a forklift, there could potentially be a third-party claim against forklift operating company, the forklift manufacturer/distributor, and/or the forklift maintenance/repair company. The success of third-party forklift accident claims depends on using the right experts to establish liability and proper and thorough investigation. Those are also specific situations and I certainly review the potential of a third-party claim when meeting with my injured workers. However, most forklift accidents I encounter do not involved third-party claims.
If you have been involved in a forklift accident or any injury occurring at a warehouse, the first and immediate thing to do is notify your supervisor. It seems like common sense, and it should be, but may times, notice is a litigating factor. You can read all about starting a workers compensation claim right here. For more information on my workers compensation practice, you can visit my firm website.
If you are injured at a warehouse in Greencastle, Chambersburg, Carlisle, or anywhere in Central Pennsylvania, don’t hesitate to contact Mooney & Associates right away for a FREE CONSULTATION. Not only is the consultation free, but you pay no fee UNLESS we recover for YOU. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. Call today at 717-200-HELP to connect with me.