Michigan lawyer discusses forklift safety in the workplace and why avoiding an accident is better than collecting workers’ comp benefits.
We are constantly advocating for our clients and fighting for increased safety in the workplace. Work accidents are going to happen, but many can be avoided with better training and a focus on safety. Unfortunately, there are some jobs that are just more accident prone than others and incorrectly operating a forklift can be a very dangerous proposition. Our experience shows that employees are put on forklifts without proper training, and this results in on-the-job injuries. Here is some information about forklift safety in the workplace in Michigan.
About OSHA and their specific stands on industrial trucks (aka forklifts)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has an excellent website devoted to powered industrial trucks aka forklifts. OSHA estimates that “overturns” represent about 25% of all forklift-related deaths. Injury can also occur when a forklift is driven out of a loading area and struck by another vehicle. Forklifts can be inadvertently driven off loading docks or fall between. Sometimes it’s not the driver but a coworker or bystander who gets hurt.
Here is what OSHA says about forklift safety in the workplace: “Determining the best way to protect workers from injury largely depends on the type of truck operated and the worksite where it is being used.” OSHA makes clear that specific standards should be followed under federal law. Employers are required to ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent, as demonstrated by the successful completion of training and evaluation.
We strongly recommend that anyone who is serious about forklift safety in the workplace familiarize themselves with OSHA rules and have an honest discussion with their employer if they are not being followed. MIOSHA also allows employees to file complaints about workplace safety and health hazards. Complainants have the right to request that their names not be revealed to their employers.
What happens if an employee gets hurt in a forklift accident?
If an employee gets hurt because someone ignored forklift safety in the workplace in Michigan, then workers’ comp benefits should be paid. It will cover all medical bills without copayment or deductibles being owed. It also pays for lost wages equal to 80% of an employee’s after-tax average weekly wage. Family members can make a claim for survivors benefits if an employee dies.
What about a lawsuit if I was injured by someone who ignored forklift safety guidelines in the workplace?
Workers’ comp is considered the exclusive remedy against both the employer and coworkers. This means if you were injured by someone who ignored the forklift safety guidelines in the workplace in Michigan then you cannot sue for additional damages unless there was an intentional act that resulted in the accident. A good example of an intentional act is when someone purposely tries to hit an employee with a forklift.
It is possible to file a third-party lawsuit against a negligent party who was not an employer or coworker. This usually occurs when many different companies are working on the same job site. A lawsuit can be filed against the negligent third-party for pain and suffering damages.
Injured while on the job in Michigan? Contact our lawyers for a free consultation
If someone ignored forklift safety in the workplace in Michigan and you were injured by them while on the job, call us now to speak with an experienced attorney about your Michigan work injury claim or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years and can help you better understand Michigan work injury laws and explain what happens if you or a loved one has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.