Fork Lift Association & Thorough Examination

Forklift Safety 101: Stay within the forklift truck

A very small percentage of injuries involving forklift trucks are due to complete overturns of the truck however a large number of the very serious injuries are.
The majority of these injuries occur when the forklift operator does not remain within the vehicle, but panics and tries to escape as the truck is turning.

The Fly Swatter Effect

As a forklift truck starts to roll it can mistakenly appear to the operator that they have enough time to safely abandon the truck. However the momentum of a rolling forklift truck is on a curve, initially slower but accelerating at an incredible speed the moment the centre of gravity passes the wheel line.

Many operators who are partially leaving the forklift at this point will be pinned or crushed under the overhead guard - causing extremely serious injury or even death.

Operator restraint systems

The natural human reaction in a situation such as an overturning forklift truck is to escape - which is why an operator restraint system is now the standard on modern forklift trucks.

In 1983 forklift manufacturer Clark pioneered a system for retraining an operator inside a lift truck. The operator restraint system consists of an open design, vertical wing support which reduce a possible claustrophobic effect on the operator and does not hamper visibility or access to the controls.

Every manufacturer of forklift trucks now installs a restraint system into their forklift trucks but these need to be in use to be effective.

Learn more about Clark forklift trucks >
Forklift Safety 101: Stay within the forklift truck