Were you or someone you loved injured by the operation of a forklift at the workplace?
A number of warehouses and other industrial job sites use forklifts to move heavy or bulky objects. Distribution centers, construction sites, and production facilities will all employ forklifts to complete various tasks. The Law Office of Albert J. Talone has represented a number of individuals injured by use or misuse of forklifts in the State of New Jersey.
Specific Injuries from Forklift Accidents
Across the United States, forklifts are involved in thousands of workplace injuries every year. In fact, accidents with forklifts are one of the most common work injuries in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that forklifts are responsible for more than 90,000 employee injuries each year.
Injuries from a forklift can be substantial. Employees are often seriously injured by collision, impact, or accident involving a forklift. Likely injuries are:
- broken bones
- cuts or scrapes
- contusions or bruises
- severed ligaments or tendons
- loss of limb or extremity, and
- head or neck injuries.
These injuries could prevent an employee from working for a long time. In the event that a forklift injury causes partial or total disability and an employee can never return to work, New Jersey law provides for permanent disability benefits through the workers’ compensation claims process.
Best Practices, Training, & Operation of Forklifts
Each industry and workplace has specific risks and potential for employee injuries. Businesses do their best to prevent accidents from occurring, and in particular address their most common risks. Certain workplaces have a higher risk for employee injury than others. The operation of forklifts makes jobs easier, but it also makes the workplace more dangerous.
Businesses try to hire employees who are experienced in operating forklifts, or provide in-depth training. In addition, companies will distribute risk manuals and posting warning signs that are visible to employees. However, not every risk is foreseen and not every injury can be prevented.
Actions After Injury
Provided the injury occurred on the job, workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees regardless of who operated the forklift or caused the injury. In most instances, the accident occurred while a coworker or injured employee operated the forklift, and the employer may not be directly responsible for the accident. However, workers’ compensation in New Jersey covers all workplace injuries regardless of fault.
If you are injured because of a forklift, regardless of how series or substantial the injury, you need to seek medical attention and report the injury to a supervisor immediately. New Jersey law provides a specific timeframe for notifying an employer of an injury and for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The sooner you speak with a lawyer regarding your situation, the better.
Contact a Lawyer
Albert J. Talone has previously represented clients in South Jersey involved in minor and serious forklift accidents. If you were injured by the operation or misuse of a forklift while in the workplace, you need to speak with a New Jersey lawyer who has handled similar cases. Call our office today at (856)-234-4023 to discuss your case.