According to forklift accidents statistics, forklift operation presents a significant hazard to people occupying the same work space. Forklift injuries can be severe or fatal as forklifts are heavy and powerful vehicles. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that forklifts strike pedestrians everyday, and result in hundreds of deaths, and more than 90,000 injuries annually in the North America. The NIOSH report states that approximately every three days, someone in North America is killed in a forklift accident. The cost for medical and lost work production incurred because of forklift accidents is estimated to be greater than $100 million annually.
The Occupational Health and Safety report states that there are over one million lift-trucks in operation daily. Accidents occur when lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks, fall between docks and workers are struck by moving lift trucks. Most accidents involve property damage including damage to sprinkler heads, rackings, pipes, walls and machinery. Most worker injuries as well as property damage can be attributed to the lack of safe operating procedures and lack of safety-rule enforcement.
In order to prevent multiple injuries and high expenses involved with forklift accidents, numerous technologies have been developed today to address safety issues for such industrial applications. For example, laser scanners that mount on the front and back of forklifts, provide warning and safety zone areas, audible and visual alarms that have been developed for forklifts to warn of movement, as well as infra-red communications technology.
However, having lift truck certification training performed by a competent training and consulting firm is very critical to Ministry of Labour compliance and accident prevention. Section 51 in the regulations for industrial establishment is the legislation discussing lifting device requirements and employer responsibilities.