Marianne Sanford Forklifts February 25th, 2018 - 15:10:21
Industrial fork lift trucks are divided into two categories: electric and internal combustion (IC). Forklift engine types determine how the forklift operates where it can be used (indoor or outdoor) weight capacity and overall performance. Powered by lead-acid batteries several types of forklifts are electric: cushion tire forklifts scissor lifts order pickers stackers reach trucks and pallet jacks. Electric forklifts are primarily used indoors on flat even surfaces. The initial cost of an electric forklift tends to be higher than most IC fork lifts but its annual fuel and maintenance cost is less expensive over time. Electric lift truck batteries last 6 consecutive hours or throughout an 8-hour shift with 2-3 breaks. The charge of the battery determines the strength of the lift: a fully charged forklift operates at its fullest capacity while a low charge slows its performance.
Even with all of these guidelines in place and plenty of training programs available employers are not required to take part. That being said employers who do not follow OSHAs guidelines run the risk of opening themselves up to liability claims and lawsuits should an employee become injured from a forklift accident. Some states even allow injured employees to seek damages beyond those provided by workers compensation benefits. This means that the employer who failed to verify a safe workplace could be held accountable as well as the forklift manufacturer and any subcontractors or owner of the jobsite property. If you or someone you know has been injured from a forklift accident it is important that you seek the advice of a personal injury attorney who specializes in the area of construction accidents. You may be entitled to receive monetary damages for your injuries and a skilled attorney will help you to assess the validity of your case.
Consider the following statistics: 18% of forklift accidents are from employees and other bystanders being stuck with forklifts 14% of forklift accidents happen when they are used to lift people 7% of forklift accidents result from being accidentally driven off of loading docks or in an area that is unsafe for proper use 7% of forklift accidents result from improper maintenance 3% of forklift accidents happen because the operator loses control and improper use (Statistics courtesy of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) These statistics can be attributed to a variety of factors including: Lack of Proper Training: Many forklift drivers have not received proper training to operate the equipment. This can lead to drivers parking in inappropriate spots backing up or turning without following safety guidelines and not being able to properly communicate with others near the forklift.
Warehouses and distribution centers that use an electric for more than 7 consecutive hours keep an extra charged battery on hand. While electrics are easier to maintain than ICs they are not recommended for continuous use of transporting loads greater than 15000 lbs. Batteries prevent the emission of harmful fumes and are recommended for facilities in food-processing and healthcare sectors. Internal combustion forklifts are powered by fossil fuels such as gas propane and diesel. There are several types of IC fork lifts: pneumatic tire forklifts rough terrains scissor lifts telehandlers and boom lifts. IC forklifts are primarily used for outdoor applications. An internal combustion forklifts fuel powers the lift longer than an electric (one LP tank = 8 consecutive hours) and can be refueled in less than 10 minutes. IC forklifts are more powerful than electric forklifts but their emission of harmful fumes (e.g. carbon monoxide) is not ideal for indoor applications. However LP forklifts can be used indoors with proper ventilation and large aisle dimensions.