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3 dangers of forklifts on construction sites

New York City construction workers are used to working under dangerous conditions, at great heights with stiff river breezes blowing all around them, during inclement weather and around huge cranes and earth-moving equipment.

However, many might not consider the dangers posed by forklifts on job sites. Below are three potential safety hazards involving forklifts.

-- Equipment turnovers: Nearly a quarter of the fatalities happen when an overloaded forklift falls over, the operator proceeds with the forks uplifted too high or the payload is unbalanced.

These tragedies can be avoided by operators using seat belts, stabilizing their loads and using great caution on ramps and uphill grades. If the ground is slippery, slow down and always avoid turning sharply.

-- Hitting pedestrians or coworkers with a forklift: Whenever possible, keep coworkers and pedestrians out of the path of forklifts. Forklift use should be restricted in high traffic areas like lunch rooms, entrances, exits, break spots and around the time clock. If they must be used in those areas, move loads when there are few people in and around the areas.

-- Crushing injuries from forklifts: Statistics indicate that 16 percent of fatalities involving forklifts happen when an operator or others get crushed by the machinery that can weigh a couple of tons.

Unless a seat with a seatbelt is provided, no passengers should ride on a forklift. Under no circumstances should workers ever ride on the forks. In unfamiliar locations, scope out the path to be taken in the event of hazards.

If you have been injured in a construction site accident, you may choose to pursue legal action against the company, individual and/or other entity that you believe bears liability for your injuries.

Source: Safety Daily Advisor, "5 Deadly Forklift Dangers," ckilbourne, accessed May. 07, 2015

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