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Forklift Operator Injuries


Operating a forklift can be extremely dangerous work in Pompano Beach and throughout South Florida. Anyone who operates a forklift at work, or does their job around forklift operators, needs to be aware of injury risks and how to prevent them. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), forklifts caused 78 work-related deaths in 2020 alone, and nearly 7,300 nonfatal injuries that required days away from work for recovery. On average, for nonfatal forklift injuries, workers required 17 days away from work, which is higher than the average for all work-related injuries and exposures. When a forklift operator injury does occur, it is important for that injured worker to understand their options for seeking compensation through the Florida workers’ compensation system. Our experienced Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you with your case. In the meantime, we can provide you with more information about forklift operator injuries in South Florida.

How Do Forklift Operator Injuries Happen?

 As the NSC explains, forklifts are used for various tasks that can present hazards to workers. Indeed, these machines are commonly “used for carrying and transporting heavy materials in primary non-roadway areas,” including on construction sites. The following are the most common types of events that result in forklift operator injuries, according to the NSC:

  • Transportation accidents (52 percent of all forklift injuries);
  • Struck-by accidents, including being struck by a forklift (15 percent of all forklift injuries);
  • Slips, trips, and falls, including falls from forklifts (15 percent of all forklift injuries);
  • Struck against object (8 percent of all forklift injuries);
  • Caught-in the equipment injuries (5 percent of all forklift injuries); and
  • Overexertion injuries (3 percent of all forklift injuries).

Types of Forklift Operator Injuries 

What types of injuries are most common for forklift operators in the types of accidents cited above? The NSC identifies the following facts and figures:

  • 29 percent of all forklift operator injuries are bone fractures;
  • 17 percent of all forklift operator injuries are bruises are contusions;
  • 17 percent of identified injuries among forklift operators are general soreness or pain;
  • 6 percent of injuries are cuts or lacerations;
  • 3 percent of forklift injuries are multiple traumatic injuries;
  • 2 percent of nonfatal forklift operator injuries are amputations; and
  • 10 percent of reported forklift operator injuries fall into other or unidentified categories.

Common Industries Where Forklift Operator Injuries Happen

 Forklift operators commonly work in construction, but they also work in other industries in South Florida. The NSC identifies the following industries in relation to where forklift operator injuries happen:

  • Manufacturing (26 percent);
  • Transportation and warehousing (23 percent);
  • Wholesale trade (19 percent);
  • Retail trade (15 percent);
  • Construction (7 percent); and
  • Professional and business services (3 percent).

Contact a Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today 

If you were injured in an accident as a forklift operator, you will need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days and seek medical treatment from an approved provider. You should also get in touch with an experienced Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. who can ensure that you take all necessary steps to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.


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