NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Characteristics of work-related injuries involving forklift trucks.
J Saf Res 1987 Dec; 18(4):179-190
An analysis was made of injuries suffered due to forklift accidents in the United States. Information for this analysis was taken from two occupational injury databases: the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Supplementary Data System (SDS). NEISS contains information from a national sample of emergency rooms and burn centers. The SDS database includes workers' compensation claims for injuries with lost workdays covering 30 states. An estimated 24,708 injuries involving forklifts were reported in NEISS in 1983 and 13,417 in SDS. The most frequent accident type in NEISS involved a worker caught in, under, or between objects (33 percent); in SDS the most frequent accidents involved the victim being struck by an object (36 percent). The most commonly involved body part was a foot in NEISS (22 percent) and the same in SDS (18 percent). Another commonly involved body part was the finger. The most commonly involved occupation of the injured party was forklift and tow motor operatives. Other occupations with high accident frequencies included warehousemen, miscellaneous laborers, freight and material handlers, mechanics, and other operatives except transportation. For forklift operatives, the most frequent diagnosis was strain or sprain. The author suggests that to reduce the greatest portion of such injuries, accident prevention measures should focus on protecting workers' feet from being run over. Those individuals who only occasionally work in the vicinity of a forklift should also be advised of the dangers associated with these machines.
NIOSH-Author; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Safety-research; Foot-protection; Industrial-safety; Safety-education; Materials-handling-equipment
Issue of Publication
Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division