Figures recently published by the Fork Lift Truck Association have highlighted the dangers faced by many employees from fork lift trucks in the work place.  The alarming statistics were revealed as part of the recent National Fork Lift Safety Week 2010,  and show that up to 43 people per week are injured as a result of a fork lift truck accident, with 11 of them suffering serious injuries.  Perhaps most surprising (and most worrying) is that one person every day in the UK is hospitalised by a fork lift truck.

Extensive legislation exists in this area to protect employees from death and serious injury, but it appears that all too many employers are failing to take heed of their obligations under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, amongst others.

The Fork Lift Truck Association also publishes extensive guidance and checklists to assist employers in following their statutory obligations and ensuring the comply with best practice.  However, the figures show a worrying failure by employers to take appropriate steps to safeguard their employees.  Common causes of accidents include poorly maintained vehicles, operators with insufficient training or training that is out of date and even fellow employees operating the fork lift truck whilst using a mobile phone!  Accidents are also regularly caused by bad practice becoming common practice and corners being cut – particularly in the current climate with employers looking to minimise costs wherever possible.

If you have been injured in an accident at work of any kind, including one involving a fork lift truck, Farleys offer initial consultations free of charge. For a confidential discussion or to find out if you have a claim, don’t hesitate to contact me.