Forklifts are an essential tool in many industries, but they can also pose significant risks if not operated correctly. Understanding common forklift accidents and how to prevent them is crucial for maintaining a safe workplace. Here are some of the most common accidents and strategies for avoiding them.

1. Forklift Overturns

Forklift overturns are one of the most common types of accidents, often resulting from unbalanced loads, excessive speed, or improper turning. To avoid these incidents:

  • Never exceed the forklift’s weight capacity.
  • Distribute loads evenly.
  • Slow down when turning and maneuvering.
  • Use caution on slopes and uneven surfaces12.

2. Falling Loads

If loads aren’t properly secured, they can fall, causing injury or damage. To prevent this:

  • Ensure loads are stable and secure before moving.
  • Do not stack loads too high.
  • Drive slowly and smoothly to prevent load shifting3.

3. Pedestrian Accidents

Forklifts can pose a danger to pedestrians in the workplace. These accidents can be avoided by

  • Using signs and floor markings to warn employees and visitors.
  • Ensuring operators are trained to be aware of pedestrians.Using the forklift’s horn at intersections and blind spots4.

4. Accidents Due to Poor Visibility

Poor visibility can lead to accidents. Operators may not see obstacles, edges, or people. Prevent these accidents by:

  • Ensuring the workplace is well-lit.
  • Operators should always face the direction of travel.
  • If a load blocks visibility, travel in reverse5.

5. Accidents Due to Inadequate Training

According to OSHA, 25% of forklift accidents are due to inadequate operator training6. To reduce these accidents:

  • Require proper training for all forklift operators.
  • Implement a refresher training program.
  • Ensure operators are trained in specific workplace hazards2.

6. Accidents Due to Poor Forklift Maintenance

Faulty equipment can lead to accidents. Regular forklift maintenance and safety checks can prevent this:

  • Conduct pre-operation inspections.
  • Regularly maintain the forklift according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Report and fix any issues immediately3.

In conclusion, many forklift accidents are preventable. The key to avoiding them is understanding the common contributing factors and implementing strategies to reduce these risks. Remember, safety should always be the top priority in any workplace.


  1. Summit Handling
  2. LiftOne
  3. SafeWork Insider
  4. BigRentz
  5. Flux Power
  6. TMHNC