What to Do If a Forklift Tips Over?

Chances are, you don’t like to think about the possibility that your forklift tips over, and this is only natural. Still, having your forklift tip over is a very real possibility, as it accounts for over 40% of forklift-related fatalities. Furthermore, 11% of all forklifts are involved in an accident on a year basis; when you consider that an estimated 70% of all forklift-related accidents are easily preventable through following proper safety protocol, it is crucial that forklift operators do everything in their power to prevent the forklift from tipping over. Still, sometimes one cannot help these incidents from taking place, so this post discusses what you should do when a forklift tips over and what causes these unfortunate incidents from taking place.

What Should You Do When This Happens?

What Should You Do When This Happens?

What causes the forklift to tip over?

If your forklift tips over, there are a number of possible causes, most of which are easily preventable through safe practice. One of the most common involves driving too fast around a corner. Always remember that there are two directions in which the forklift tips over—either sideways or forward. If your forklift tips over sideways, this is usually due t turning too quickly. Alternately, it may be due to driving over unsafe terrain or lifting cargo while the vehicle is off-center. If the forklift tips over forward, this could be due to lifting more than the recommended cargo capacity or braking or accelerating improperly. Lifting with forward tilt on the mast or hitting an overhead object (such as a telephone pole) could also cause the accident to take place.

If your forklift tips over, how should you react?

One of the most common mistakes people make when their forklift tips over is to jump out of the vehicle. Most often, those who jump out are killed by the impact of the overhead guard anyhow. This will only increase the potential for serious injury. Instead, maintain a tight grip on the steering wheel and brace feet before the vehicle tips over. As the forklift falls, lean in the opposite direction of the fall. If you avoid panicking and remain well-secured in the lift truck, you will dramatically reduce the potential for serious injury. Be mindful of the stability triangle, which basically refers to the region on the lift truck where the load should be placed in order to maintain a safe center of gravity.

The topic may not be very uplifting, but you need to be prepared for the possibility of a major accident. Practice safe driving and resist panicking if your forklift tips over.

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