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Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers


Forklift Trucks

Forklifts are highly productive machines designed to travel fast, maneuver in confined spaces, and to raise, lower, and carry loads. The same design characteristics that make the forklift a highly efficient material handler also makes it very vulnerable to upset and other hazards. While forklifts are necessary tools for people who operate them and those who work around them, they cause many deaths and serious injury because they are prone to:

  • Colliding with other forklifts, people or objects
  • Backing into people or objects
  • Being used as an elevated work platform
  • Tipping over on their side, especially narrow-isle forklifts
  • Having objects fall from the forks due to poorly palletized materials or loose objects on shelving.
Accidents caused by forklifts are predictable and can be prevented by a safer design and the installation of available safeguards. These simple design changes and procedures can make forklifts safer:
  • Falling object protection system (FOPS) should be constructed with four posts to protect the operator in the event something were to fall on the forklift
  • Rollover protection systems (ROPS) prevents the operator from being ejected and crushed if the lift truck turns over
  • Seat Belts
  • Grab handles to brace one’s self if forklift starts to tipImproved seats with an armrest and body and shoulder extensions to prevent sliding sideways or to hinder ejection if the lift truck starts to tip
  • Backrest extensions for the forklift to prevent loads from tipping over top of the extended mass
  • Automatic signal alarms to warn pedestrians the forklift truck is in the area
  • Rear view mirrors
  • Forklift trucks should never be used to raise or lower people.

Here are a few examples of forklift injury cases that our Philadelphia prducts liability attorneys have handled:

  • An overhead guard crushed the deceased when the lift truck upset. There was no rollover protection system (ROPS). To prevent the operator from sliding sideways and to prevent ejection if the lift truck starts to tip, an effective ROPS includes
    • An overhead guard
    • Seatbelts
    • Seats with armrest, body, and shoulder extensions.
  • A construction lift (high loader) without an effective ROPS was upset and ejected an operator. It pinned him by the overhead guard and compressed his spine. This caused paraplegia.
  • The victim was crushed by pallets that slipped over the top of the mass. The lift truck did not have FOPS or a back-lift extension of the fork.
  • The deceased was struck on the head by the overhead guard when he was ejected during a lift truck upset. An effective ROPS would have prevented injury.
  • The legs of the injured were crushed when his lift truck overturned on a level cement floor with the fork in the down position and no load. This could have been prevented with ROPS.
  • The injured was run over by a lift truck while walking in an aisle. He was unaware of the lift truck and the lift truck operator was unaware of him. This could have been avoided if an automatic warning device was on the lift truck.
  • The injured had his back to the lift truck while he was sweeping the warehouse floor. The lift truck backed up and ran over him—breaking both his legs. The injury could have been avoided by automatic backup alarms on the lift truck.

Contact the Experienced Philadelphia Products Liability Attorneys at Galfand Berger

Our Philadelphia personal injury law firm is experienced in representing victims of serious injury or death due to the forklift truck. Our Philadelphia products liability attorneys can provide excellent representation. We are happy to answer any questions and review your case for free. Please call us at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or complete our short contact form and a member of our firm will contact you. There is no fee unless we recover money for you. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey including the areas of Allentown, Reading, Harrisburg and Bethlehem.

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Galfand Berger, LLP

Attorney Advertising Materials. Wayne A. Hamilton is responsible for the content of this website. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

With offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Bethlehem and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

We work to protect the rights of clients who have been injured as a result of car accidents, defective products, unsafe equipment and machinery, workplace accidents, medical malpractice and any other serious injuries or accidents.

Galfand Berger LLP is located in Philadelphia, PA and serves clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Wynnewood, Philadelphia, Narberth, Gladwyne, Elkins Park, Cheltenham, Wyncote, Upper Darby, Ardmore, Glenside, Lafayette Hill, Havertown, Haverford, Flourtown, Darby, Oreland, Jenkintown, Drexel Hill, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County.

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