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What To Do In Case Of Forklift Accident In The Bronx

What To Do In Case Of Forklift Accident In The Bronx


Table of Contents

  1. Forklift Accident Statistics
  2. Recent Bronx and Other New York City Forklift Accidents
  3. Practical Tips for Improving Forklift Safety Measures
  4. The Different Types of Training OSHA Requires for All Forklift Operator Trainees
  5. Forklift Accidents Frequently Happen Due to Other Highly Negligent Behaviors
  6. Most Common Physical Injuries Suffered Due to Forklift Accidents
  7. Contact Information
  8. FAQ

Summary Table

Key Points Details
Statistics Highlighting the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by forklifts annually.
Recent Accidents Discussing specific incidents in New York City involving forklifts.
Safety Tips Offering advice on forklift maintenance, operation, and training to improve workplace safety.
OSHA Training Describing the types of training required by OSHA for forklift operators.
Negligent Behaviors Identifying behaviors that often lead to forklift accidents.
Injuries Listing common injuries that can result from forklift accidents.
Legal Assistance Providing contact information for legal assistance following a forklift-related accident.

Ever since forklifts were first used in America over one hundred years ago, they’ve been valued as crucial pieces of equipment for construction sites, warehouse loading docks, and other unique workplace settings. Few vehicles are as simple and versatile. While some people prefer the term “forklifts,” others may simply refer to these vehicles as “lift trucks” or “fork trucks.”

At present, there are many sub-groups of lift trucks. They can include reaching trucks, pickers, pallet trucks, counterbalance forklifts, and tow tractors. Each of these machines helps operators move boxes, pallets, crates, and other containers from one location to another.

Here is our guide offering practical tips on forklift safety measures, training, and equipment maintenance. Once you’ve finished reading this article, you can help create a safer work environment for all your employees or co-workers. Yet before we can share all this useful information, we’re setting forth some key statistics below. They’ll help reveal some of the hidden dangers tied to using forklifts as many companies move crucial products across the country.

Forklift Accident Statistics

  • Each year, both industrial truck and forklift operators cause a total of 39,000 accidents
  • A full eight thousand (8,000) of those events are solely caused by forklift errors
  • Over eighty (80) deaths per year are caused by using lift trucks
  • Most forklift operators are men, and they incur 88% of the nonfatal annual forklift injuries
  • Nearly all the annual forklift deaths happen while the driver or operator is trying to escape from the truck when it has started to roll over
  • OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has determined that one- fourth of all forklift accidents are caused by improper or inadequate operator training
  • Close to 7% of all workers have to miss work each year due to an injury caused by a forklift accident
  • Every year, one out of 10 forklifts is involved in an accident
  • Approximately one-fourth of all injuries that occur in warehouses take place on the loading docks – and a large percentage of those are caused by misused forklifts
  • Tragically, at least one person dies in a forklift accident every three days in this country

All these statistics clearly indicate that we must create and fully enforce much more extensive safety procedures in every workplace where forklifts are used.

Recent Bronx and Other New York City Forklift Accidents

In one late 2023 Manhattan fork truck accident, a young man employed as a flagger was hit by a “cherry picker” (forklift) and killed. Many New Yorkers still recall another, older accident that happened near Thanksgiving Day. Three family members were working on a construction site together when one was killed as a result of falling debris after a Brooklyn forklift accident.

When these types of accidents reports are reviewed, they often reveal that insufficient barriers were erected near the areas where the forklifts were in use.

Practical Tips for Improving Forklift Safety Measures

  • Routine maintenance and inspection. All forklift operators must be reminded that they should never begin using one of these vehicles during any new shift without first carefully performing a full visual inspection of the machine. Even if someone else turned it in the day before and said it was working fine, that individual may have only performed a cursory review of leaking parts or poorly functioning gears. Always remind all lift truck drivers that their own lives are on the line when they fail to routinely inspect their vehicles at the start and end of each shift.
  • Proper loading of forklifts is crucial to employee safety. When any load is not properly balanced, the operator can easily lose control of the truck and suffer major injuries.
  • Driving too fast. Supervisors should never tolerate any speeding by forklift operators. Efforts to meet a work deadline or get off work early are unacceptable excuses for Bronx forklift accidents. In general, lift trucks should never be driven over five (5) miles per hour.
  • Industrial powered trucks and forklifts must not be used outdoors when it’s raining or upon any wet surface. Warehouse floor areas should always be checked in advance before any operator tries to move loads from one location to another. Should the brakes get wet or fail, an accident is much more likely to occur.
  • All forklift and other powered industrial trucks must be parked safely. Operators should never leave one of these vehicles running in neutral or park after leaving the driver’s seat. When one of these machines is being parked on an incline, the tires must first always be turned toward the curb before the motor is shut off.
  • Proper clothing and appropriate safety gear must be always worn by forklift drivers. When this rule is broken, loose fitting jackets or shirts can quickly get caught on something, increasing the chances of a deadly accident.
  • Forklifts must only be used in workplace areas that have been properly designed and cordoned off from other employee activities. When this safety measure is ignored, it’s far more likely that an innocent worker will be hit after walking into one of the operator’s blind spots. Also, loading dock driving areas must never be so narrow that forklift drivers must constantly make sharp turns. When forced to do so, these operators can easily cause loads to fall to the ground, possibly hurting someone.
  • Lift truck operators must always first inspect the work areas where they’ll be using these vehicles. Failing to first walk around the area before getting into the driver’s seat can quickly lead to serious accidents when spilled goods or other materials are suddenly discovered while operating the forklift. These drivers should also never start their vehicle engines unless they can see proper signage in place – warning all other employees to keep their distance.
  • Proper forklift training is crucial — not just for the operator — but for everyone working anywhere near one of these vehicles. All employers must make sure that all forklift operator trainees are at least 18 years old when their training programs begin. Furthermore, every forklift training course must meet OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards. And all employers have a duty to review 29 CFR 1910.178.
  • All forklift operator supervisors are responsible for regularly evaluating each employee’s skill levels. Every Bronx warehouse or construction site must impose stringent employee work standards so that’s there’s zero-tolerance of any on-the-job alcohol or other substance abuse. Routine reviews of each operator’s regular driver’s license record should be conducted, looking for DUIs and other troubling safety offenses.
  • Supervisors must make sure that every forklift accident is immediately reported to OSHA. Failing to abide by this government requirement can place all workplace employees at a greater risk of injury. This failure can also potentially increase an employer’s liabilities

if certain types of future lawsuits are filed.

The Different Types of Training OSHA Requires for All Forklift Operator Trainees

  • While reading assignments and videos are often used during training, practical or on-the-job components are also crucial.
  • A certified forklift instructor must provide real-life driving demonstrations to students who are interested in becoming fully certified as forklift operators.
  • OSHA suggests two types of forklift trainings. There is a 10-hour training program geared toward new forklift operators and a 30-hour version that has been specifically designed for both workplace safety managers and supervisors.
  • Proper training should include instructions on how operators should carry all loads as close to the ground as possible. This helps to minimize driver vision obstructions that can cause loads to tip over.
  • Every professional training program must include segments on how to properly load a forklift before ever trying to move any boxes, crates, or other containers.
  • Common, potential dangers should be referenced. For example, every forklift operator trainee must be taught how to shut the forklift down as quickly as possible — without causing a tip over — when serious mechanical failures occur.
  • Supervisors must clearly warn all forklift operators that must never offer any kinds of rides to other workers. All too often, other workers will ask to be picked up and moved with a load at the end of the day — leading to serious injuries or a disaster. Operators must be told that this type of workplace behavior can lead to their immediate firing.

Forklift Accidents Frequently Happen Due to Other Highly Negligent Behaviors

  • Careless lift truck operators may become distracted by talking to others (or listening to music) just before suddenly driving off the edge of a loading dock.
  • After putting the forklift in gear, a careless driver may immediately lift a load without first checking to be sure there are no other workers or visiting pedestrians in the area.
  • Careless supervisors may put undue pressure on lift truck operators to finish moving all loads before an unreasonable deadline.
  • Supervisors should never allow any forklift operator to attach any unapproved devices to forklifts, perhaps hoping that they will make it easier to move heavier loads. Only forklift parts that came with specific machines can ever be officially attached to them. A clear warning about this type of behavior should be included in every training program.

Most Common Physical Injuries Suffered Due to Forklift Accidents

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Muscle tears or sprains
  • Severe neck or back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
  • Severe cuts or lacerations
  • Crush injuries. These can prove deadly since the average fork truck weighs close to three thousand pounds
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Wrongful death
  • Fortunately, these only occur in a small percentage of forklift accidents

Contact Information

If you have suffered serious injuries after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our Bronx forklift accident law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.


  1. What are some common causes of forklift accidents?
    Common causes of forklift accidents include improper or inadequate operator training, careless operation such as driving too fast or not properly inspecting the work area, driving on wet surfaces, and inadequate maintenance of the forklift.
  2. What types of injuries are most commonly associated with forklift accidents?
    The most common injuries suffered due to forklift accidents include fractures or broken bones, muscle tears or sprains, severe neck or back injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe cuts or lacerations, crush injuries, internal organ injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and in severe cases, wrongful death or amputations.
  3. How can forklift safety be improved in the workplace?
    Forklift safety can be improved by adhering to routine maintenance and inspection protocols, providing proper loading training, ensuring operators drive at safe speeds, using forklifts only in designated areas, requiring appropriate clothing and safety gear, and providing comprehensive OSHA-compliant training for all operators.
  4. What training does OSHA require for forklift operators?
    OSHA requires that all forklift operator trainees receive comprehensive training that includes reading assignments, videos, practical driving demonstrations by a certified instructor, and real-life handling of loads. There are 10-hour and 30-hour training programs available, with the latter designed for workplace safety managers and supervisors.
  5. What should I do if I’ve been injured in a forklift accident?
    If you’ve been injured in a forklift accident, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Then, contact a qualified forklift accident law firm to investigate the facts of your case, review medical records, and help you seek compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.