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Forklift Accidents and how to survive them


A fork lift truck is as you know a powerful industrial machine used to lift materials from one location to another. Up and down the UK, across thousands of warehouses, forklift trucks are needed for the smooth running of the day to day of companies. Unfortunately there are times when forklift accidents can occur and when they do, there can be some bad outcomes.

One of the most lethal forklift accidents that can happen is for it to topple over. Potentially this can have a serious outcome for the driver and any near by work colleagues/staff. You have to remember that forklifts can weigh from 3000 pounds upwards, so for one to land on you will not be good news.

Forklift Accidents

On the Fork Lift Truck Association website they give the most common reasons on why this can happen. The following are their reasons for a forklift to overturn:

  • Travelling on slopes that are too steep
  • Going over slippery surfaces such as oil or grease patches, ice, or even just water
  • Trying to cross soft or uneven ground
  • Going over kerbs, steps or other edges
  • Being overloaded or unevenly loaded
  • Going too fast, especially around corners
  • Carrying loads at a dangerous height
  • Tips on how to survive forklift accidents

    When you are involved in an accident and you realise that the forklift may be on the verge of over turning, it is only natural for the human brain to think “uh oh” and your first instinct will be to try and jump out to save yourself. This is a bad mistake that can end in death.

    You see, you jumping out and trying to get clear can result in the forklift landing on you and in return squashing you to your death. Not a nice way to go!

    Forklift Seatbelt

    What every forklift will have though is a seatbelt. We all have used one in a car before and the main reason for that is to limit injuries if we are involved in an accident. A seatbelt in a car will stop you crashing through the front windscreen or hitting your head on the steering wheel.

    A forklift is slower than any road car, so what is the point in having a seatbelt? Well a seatbelt in a forklift is there to stop you from jumping out if the forklift were to overturn, to keep you in your seat as much as possible, meaning you will not get crushed to death.

    How to survive if you are not wearing a seatbelt

    If for any reason you realise that you have not got your seatbelt on and you find yourself in the process of a forklift overturning situation, try and follow theses tips to stay safe:

    • Lean away from the direction of tipping
    • Grip steering wheel – or, better still, the grab handles – to help stay in your seat
    • Push down with your feet to force yourself back into the seat
    • If the driver could keep his nerve, stay inside the cab, perhaps bracing himself with the steering wheel or grab handles, they may be bruised, but there are virtually no fatalities on record of this type of accident

    So the the main obvious tip here is to make sure you where you seatbelt. It only takes a few seconds to put on, but can end up saving your life! Say safe.


    Fork Lift Truck Association
    Forklift Driver

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    1. Andrew Russell

      All too often the combination of high speed, lack of concerntration and no consideration for safety (ie the seatbelt) puts a lot of people at risk. Some further advice, if you are every involved in an accident, I would recommend minimising any further problems by cutting off any fuel supplies. Gas could ignite and complicate the problem. Safety first. Further tips can be found in one of the last blogs on how you can save money by getting your forklift licence. Good luck.

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