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Forklift safety is key for construction sites

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Many things affect conditions on construction sites. A key one is forklift safety. Construction sites that do not pay enough attention to it will pay the price in injuries, loss of productivity and financial damages.

Approximately 97,000 people per year suffer injuries related to the use of forklifts. The injuries are often due to carelessness or improper training. Since there are about 856,000 forklifts in the United States, the injury total above correlates to an average of more that 1 in 10 forklifts involved in injuries per year.

To prevent those injuries, it is important that no one under 18 operate a forklift. It is against federal law for them to do so. It is also necessary for forklift operators who are 18 and older to be fully trained.

That training must incorporate operating instructions along with all applicable precautions and warnings for the kinds of forklifts that the person being trained will be operating. Operation of a forklift is different from operation of an automobile, and the person being trained should understand all of the differences.

The operator should know where all the forklift controls and instruments are, what they do, and how to work them. The should also know all about steering a maneuvering, along with attendant visibility issues.

They will also need to know about the loads that they will be working with and how those loads will affect the operation of the forklift. Different loads will have different weights and will vary in regards to stability as well.

Proper forklift operation training is essential on worksites to prevent accidents. If an accident occurs, you should address any areas where you feel that training or other safety measures were lacking with your attorney.

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.