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HaveTuesday 04 June 2019

Have you been the victim of a forklift truck accident? If so, you are part of a worrying trend.

Have you been the victim of a forklift truck accident? If so, you are part of a worrying trend.

In recent years Swindon has become a major hub for large warehouse facilities and logistics operations, and with that growth, the number of jobs for forklift truck drivers in the town has increased significantly. Statistically, that increase also comes with associated risks.

Both forklift drivers and their colleagues who work in the vicinity of forklift trucks need to be acutely conscious of the attendant dangers. In fact, the most recent accident statistics from the British Safety Council show that forklifts are the most dangerous form of workplace transport, injuring more people than heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) or large goods vehicles (LGVs).

The personal impact can be devastating. Around 1,300 UK employees are hospitalized every year with serious injuries following forklift accidents, and the number is growing. Often, the injuries are life-changing; including complex fractures, dislocations and amputations.

Workplace ‘pedestrians’ are particularly at risk, accounting for 57% of those injured or killed in forklift accidents. And the size and nature of forklift trucks means that accidents are often life-changing or even fatal.

Earlier this year, a poultry producer was fined £866,650 after a forklift truck driver reversed into a yardman. The driver reversed around a trailer and did not see the yardman who sustained such grave injuries that his left leg had to be amputated above the knee.

In another case, a logistics firm was fined £270,000 after two employees were injured in forklift accidents in two days. In the first accident, a worker’s foot was crushed when he was hit by a forklift. Just one day later, another worker was walking along a marked pedestrian walkway when a large metal box fell from a forklift, landing on top of him. The employee suffered severe injuries, including internal bleeding, a fractured pelvis and punctured lungs.

Falls from forklift trucks are another cause for concern. Where workers in the food and drinks industry suffered injuries from falls, 35% had fallen from forklift trucks.

The message from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is clear – health and safety violations will be taken very seriously, and no one is above the law. Even if the forklift driver was directly responsible for an accident there may have been other errors involved. For instance, the segregation between vehicle areas and pedestrian areas was not clear. Or perhaps the driver and his supervisor had not received sufficient training, implying failures further up the chain of command.

If you are the victim of an accident at work involving a forklift truck, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact Swindon Accident Solicitors on 01793 425595 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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