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On a day dedicated to promoting forklift safety, an accident in a rural Missouri field proved that there are just some things in life that are unpredictable.
A three-year-old child was hospitalized after apparently being run over by its father with a forklift. The accident occurred in rural Knox County, Missouri, on Tuesday, June 13th, which had been designated the fourth annual National Forklift Safety Day.
According to county sheriff Robert Becker, the man was working with a forklift at about 6:50 p.m. in a field about five miles south of Edina, Missouri, as his child played nearby. While the man was loading something onto the forklift, the child somehow got behind the vehicle with the father’s knowledge.
When the man got into the forklift and backed it up, he apparently ran over the child.
Child Expected to Survive
The child was airlifted by medical helicopter to University Hospital, in nearby Columbia. While the child’s condition was not known, Becker said the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
In its fourth year, National Forklift Safety Day is designed to raise awareness about the potential dangers of working with forklifts in order to reduce the number of accidents and injuries.
On June 13th every organization that uses forklifts was encouraged to set aside time on National Forklift Safety Day to discuss forklift safety and review proper procedures for safely using the vehicles.
Forklift Safety Statistics
Each year, more than 1 million forklifts are used on US job sites. Of these, an estimated 1 in 10 will be involved in some sort of accident during the course of any given year.
Forklift accidents cause an estimated 20,000 injuries per year, some fatal, and cost businesses an estimated $135 million annually. About 22% of these accidents involve forklifts overturning.
Accidents involving industrial trucks are the sixth most common reason for violations issued by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Promoting Forklift Safety
To help commemorate this year’s National Forklift Safety Day, a special forklift safety infographic called “10 Rules for Forklift Safety” has been commissioned that examines forklift operation rules and regulations, lays out important statistics and provides tips for eliminating forklift hazards and enhancing safety.
In addition, a free Warehouse Safety Guide is available for download can also help encourage the safe operation of forklifts and other industrial vehicles in the workplace.
National Forklift Safety Day History
The first National Forklift Safety Day was held in 2014, but forklifts themselves have been an important part of the industrial and commercial landscape since 1917. Since then, annual sales of forklifts in the US tops 19,000 vehicles.