A New York OSHA report of a fatal forklift accident demonstrates again the need for training before operating the unstable machines.
Training is literally a matter of life and death. Every year, 100 employees on average die in forklift accidents and another 20,000 are hurt seriously, according to U.S. Labor Department figures. Most accidents can be traced directly back to the instability of the machines.
While forklifts may have four wheels, they don’t handle like cars. Automobiles have four points of stability. In the case of fork trucks, the weight is distributed over three points because the rear axle is a pivot. What’s gained in maneuverability is lost in stability. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every forklift operator should remember at all times that the fork truck is not as stable as a car. That applies whether the forklift is carrying a load or not.
The death of a forklift operator in New York was a combination of lack of training and the inherent instability of fork trucks, OSHA found.
The driver was using the forklift to help a nearby business move a load from a tractor-trailer to a pickup truck on a Friday in July. After offloading materials into the pickup the driver backed up quickly and turned sharply at the same time. The forklift flipped over. The driver was thrown from the machine but crushed by its overhead cage.
OSHA investigated and found that the driver had not been trained. The forklift had no seatbelt or any other kind of restraint. The driver had left the forks raised while backing up. According to OSHA, that is an unsafe move. The forklifts should be lowered when backing up to avoid accidents like the one that took the life of this operator, according to the “Employer’s Guide to Material Handling Safety.”
Seatbelts will help prevent workers from being thrown from machines, according to OSHA.
All fatal accidents must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for overseeing workplace safety in New York. This is also known as OSHA. They are called in to investigate millions of injuries each year across the United States, as well as within New York, so reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The last full year that work place injuries are available for is the year 2005. They show the large number of work related injuries, and these will surprise both employers and workers alike.
In 2005, there were 4,214,200 reported injuries in the work place. Of these injuries, tragically 5,702 proved fatal. Bear in mind that these numbers refer only to the private sector, and do not include government departments, or non-profit organizations. This makes the numbers stand out even more.
The most recent New York worker safety statistics available are from 2005. During the year 2005, there were 255,750 reported falls at work. There were 270,890 back injuries, and over half a million in total suffered from some kind of strain, tear or sprain.
Slips, trips and falls are often not taken as seriously as they should. It is worth bearing in mind that they are the second highest cause of fatalities due to work place accidents, with only vehicle related accidents having a higher toll. In 2005 there were 732 deaths due to work place falls, and 1,258 deaths due to vehicle work related incidents.
As well as the obvious cost to the employees in emotional and physical pain, there is the cost to the employer. During 2005, there were 1,234,700 work days lost through injured employees needing to take time off work. There may also be medical bills to pay as well as a law suit.
One way of avoiding serious work place injuries is to educated workers in the correct safety procedures. The OSHA Workplace Safety Pack is a valuable resource that contains safety information that is presented in a clear and easily understood way.
The New York Labor Law Board is a fundamental player in the work force even if we do not know that it is. If you live within the state of New York or work here, then this board plays a fairly important role in your every day life. The board provides a great deal of help as well as helps in making laws that are enforced throughout the state for those that work in the state. These laws must be something that is abided by for each business within the state.
The New York Labor Law Board provides a great deal of help otherwise for those that live within the state as well. Currently, the state’s unemployment rate is that of 4.6 percent. This number is about two tenths of a percent under that of the national average. Yet, that does not mean that there are not those that are unemployed and need help. For that, this department helps in providing necessary resources such as unemployment aid, job training as well as educational resources and even help in finding the right job for you. Those that are in need with find that the board has many programs in place to aid in providing the necessary help.
In addition to this, the New York Labor Law Board also provides a great deal of information as well as governs over the businesses of the state. By providing laws including those that govern the child labor laws, the minimum wage laws, the safety requirements and much more, the board insures that everyone that works within the state of New York is treated fairly and given a safe work place. As citizens of this state, we are able to call on this board, either from the aspect of being an employer or to that of being an employee for the help that we need.