Common Forklift Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Forklifts are heavy-duty industrial machines used in warehouses to help move materials safely and efficiently. Although forklifts can be very useful, they can also cause severe injuries and even death if not used correctly. It’s important for businesses and warehouses that use forklifts to understand the common forklift accidents and how to avoid them to keep their employees safe and their equipment in good working order.

What Are the Main Types of Forklift Accidents?

Tip-Overs and Rollovers

Forklifts can easily tip over or roll over if the forklift operator does not take proper precautions. This can occur if the forklift is travelling too fast for the terrain or if it’s overloaded with materials. If a forklift tips over, it can cause serious injuries to both employees and bystanders.

Related: How to prevent a forklift from tipping over?


Collisions are a very common forklift accident. These can be caused by forklift operators driving too fast, failing to use their mirrors, or not following basic safety protocols. Collisions with other forklifts or stationary objects such as walls can cause significant damage and even death in some cases.

Pedestrian Accidents

It is not uncommon for forklift operators to fail to see pedestrians in their path, resulting in injury and even death. Forklifts are large, powerful machines that can easily cause significant damage to employees if they are not operated responsibly.

Speeding Crashes

Forklifts are powerful and can reach dangerously high speeds if not properly managed. When forklift operators travel too quickly, they can easily crash into other forklifts or stationary objects, leading to serious injury or even death.

Falling Loads

Forklifts are used to lift and move heavy objects, and if these loads are not properly secured, they can fall from forklift forks. This is a very dangerous occurrence that could lead to serious injury or death.

Lack of Inspection and Maintenance

Forklifts require regular maintenance and inspection to ensure they are in proper working order. If forklifts are not properly serviced and maintained, they can become malfunctional or even completely inoperable. This can lead to forklift accidents, which can be very serious.

Poorly-Trained Operator

Finally, forklift operators must be properly trained to operate forklifts safely and efficiently. Without proper forklift training, operators are more likely to make mistakes that can lead to forklift accidents.

How to Prevent Forklift Accidents?

Conduct Pre-Operational Inspections and Functional Checks

Before operating the forklift, detailed pre-operational inspections and functional checks should be conducted to make sure everything is in proper working order. This includes checking brakes, steering, warning signals and indicators, fork alignment, and more.

Enforce Proper Safety Protocols

All forklifts should have basic safety protocols such as driving at safe speeds, wearing seat belts, and avoiding distractions while operating forklifts. These protocols should be enforced at all times to ensure forklift operators are operating in a safe manner.

Use Properly Rated Forklift Tires

Forklifts require specific types of tires that are rated to handle the forklift’s load capacity. If forklifts are used with improperly rated tires, they can easily fail or cause forklift accidents.

Get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Forklift operators should always wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, gloves, and steel-toed boots when operating forklifts. This can protect forklift operators from potential forklift accidents.

Post Warning Signs to Designate Forklift Zones

It’s important to designate forklift zones with warning signs that clearly explain forklift operation and provide instructions on when it is safe to enter a forklift zone. This can help protect pedestrians from forklift accidents.

Perform Regular Forklift Maintenance

It’s important to conduct regular maintenance and inspection of forklifts. This includes changing oil, checking fluids, tightening bolts, and inspecting forklift components for wear and tear.

Contact NovaLift Equipment Inc. for a Customized Preventative Maintenance Plan

Forklift accidents are a serious hazard that can lead to significant injury or death. Taking the proper steps such as conducting pre-operational inspections and functional checks, enforcing safety protocols, getting personal protective equipment (PPE), posting warning signs, and more can help prevent forklift accidents. If you would like to learn more about forklift accident prevention or need a customized maintenance plan for your forklifts, NovaLift Equipment Inc. can help. We offer comprehensive forklift solutions that are tailored to your needs. Contact us today to get started!

Also Read: Why Preventive Maintenance Is So Important For Your Industrial Equipment?

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