When you think of all the hazards a construction worker in New York City can face, few people consider the dangers that forklifts can pose. Yet, every year, forklift rollovers cause numerous injuries and even deaths to construction workers.
These fatalities and injuries can be prevented in many cases. Making sure that all operators receive proper training and get certified are the first steps. Also, no worker younger than 18 should ever be allowed to drive a forklift.
All operators must follow safety procedures when stacking, moving, picking up and setting down loads. Drivers of forklifts shouldn't exceed 5 mph and should go slower on slippery surfaces and in congested areas. No forklift operator should ever engage in horseplay or stunt driving on the job site.
All equipment on the job site, including forklifts, should be well-maintained. The tires must have good tread and be properly inflated as well. Additionally, no employee should ever attach or modify a forklift in any way that is not approved by the manufacturer.
Foremen and safety personnel should make daily inspections of the forklifts to ensure there are no defects. No operators should ever exceed the load capacity of the forklift, and any defective or otherwise unsafe forklifts should be removed from service until they can pass inspection. All rollover protection structures should be used.
It's also important that forklift operators wear seat belts and avoid moving elevated loads. Forklifts should all have their reverse signal alarms audible over the noise of the construction site.
If you get injured while operating a forklift here in NYC, you may be able to have your medical bills and other expenses compensated by filing a claim.