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Keping safe with powered industrial trucks

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Keeping safe at worksites is critical for workers and for those who manage those sites or are invested in them. If safety is not maintained, workers may suffer serious injuries and even death. Correspondingly, those injuries can mean lawsuits against anyone deemed culpable for them, from supervisors to property owners. For those reasons, it is important to know the safety issues around industrial equipment like powered industrial trucks.

The safety issues vary per type of powered industrial truck. For example, a rider truck that is sit-down and counterbalanced high-lift is particularly likely to be at risk for for falling load accidents because it lifts loads much higher than, for example, a hand truck that doesn’t lift loads as high.

Loading docks can also present an issue for the trucks, with there having been many cases of the trucks being driven off the docks. It is easy to take that one wrong turn that results in going over an edge. Even though the drop off isn’t far, it can result in juries and damage to the vehicle, both of which are compounded if the vehicle turns over.

Another safety issue happens during the transferring of loads from trucks to unsecured trailers. When trailers aren’t secured, they can move or even tip over, resulting in danger to workers around them. Of course, injuries can also happen when workers are hit by the trucks, or fall while they are up on elevated tines and pallets.

There are many more safety precautions that should be taken when working with or around these trucks. Workplace supervisors should go over all of them with workers. Doing so can help preclude injuries and lawsuits.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, “What are powered industrial trucks?,” accessed April 08, 2016

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.