No industries are as material intensive as warehousing, construction and shipbuilding.
Every day, people go down because of accidents occurring on loading docks, involving forklifts, conveyors, cranes, trucks, pallet jacks, positioning equipment, storage equipment, unit load formation equipment and manual lifting and handling.
Forklift accidents alone account for about 20,000 serious injuries yearly. About people – operators and bystanders -- are killed in forklift accidents every year. People are injured in different ways:
- Tipovers leading to crushing
- Crushing when vehicle collides with other objects
- Caught between a forklift and another vehicle
- People being struck by or run over by a forklift
- Falling materials or shelving
- Fall from platforms and docks
At Hofmann & Schweitzer, our mission is ensuring that New York’s construction and harbor workers get full and fair compensation for job site accidents. We work with insurance companies and employers to obtain a rightful settlement in your case. Those cases we are unable to negotiate, we take to trial.
We know firsthand how destructive these injuries can be. For this reason, we have a strong interest in preventing injuries before they occur. If these negotiation attempts are unsuccessful, we will fight for you in the courtroom.
How to avoid injury
Know how your equipment works
A disproportionate number of materials handling injuries occur in the first few days of employment, or of using a machine. Read your manual. Pay attention during training. When possible, obtain certification.
If you are unable to pay proper attention because of fatigue or stress, stop what you are doing. Doing your job is important, but it’s not worth dying for, or losing functionality.
Use your protective gear
Yes, it’s a hassle to wear protective gear like goggles, sound dampeners, and other safety gear. But it’s better than losing your eyesight or hearing for.
Look to OSHA
Know what OSHA and ANSI have to say about the equipment you are using. Just because the government sets standards doesn’t mean they are wrong.
Doing the job right is better than setting a speed record. Studies show that speed and quality of work only correlate negatively.
Stay on the level
Forklifts and other machinery are designed to work on a level surface.
Check and double check
Before you turn the key, do a walk-around inspection. When you power down, do the same. Many accidents happen because a single screw got loose. Be on the lookout for small things that pose major danger.