Accidents in the workplace which involve forklifts are a frequent occurrence.  A study which was carried out by an Injuries Board claim analysis found that approximately forty people achieved compensation for accidents in the workplace involving either a forklift or a crane in one year.

There has also been a substantial number of cases whereby Claimants or Plaintiffs suffered severe injuries from pallets which fell from a height due to the negligence of a forklift driver and indeed cases where Claimants were thrown from a forklift due to either the negligence of a driver or a lack of training within the workplace.

The average forklift accident payout last year was €32,900 and forty people received compensation for workplace accidents involving these vehicles as well as cranes to the total tune of €1.3million.

The types of injuries sustained in forklift and crane accidents were broken and fractured bones, soft tissue injuries, crushed limbs and unfortunately fatalities. In 2014, a young woman was killed after for forklift she was operating tipped over in a workplace accident. Also in 2014, a man was crushed to death in a fish plant in Northern Ireland in a workplace accident.

The most common cause of warehouse accidents in Ireland have been accidents involving a forklift.  These accidents can occur as a result of faulty equipment or servicing of the forklift or inadequate training.  An employer has a duty of care towards an employee to ensure that they are properly trained for the tasks which they undertake and therefore if required to drive a these vehicles you should be properly trained.  That training should also be certified.

Forklift accident case study: Padraig’s Story

Padraig was injured when a number of boxes fell from a pallet directly on to his head which caused him to hit the ground at force and he suffered concussion as a result of the accident.

The accident occurred because a forklift at the other side of the warehouse had inadvertently hit the pallet which the boxes were contained on and the boxes fell to the other side of the warehouse where Padraig was carrying out his duties in the normal course.

Padraig suffered psychological injuries as a result of the accident because of the sudden and unexpected nature of the injuries.  As a result of the psychological impact, Padraig suffered from flashbacks, sleepless nights, sporadic palpitations and nervousness.  Padraig also sustained a blow to the back of the head causing him concussion and damage to his neck and back.

Compensation Achieved in Padraig’s Case

Sinnott Solicitors lodged the case with the Injuries Board who did not deal with the case and issued a Certificate of Authorisation instead because of the psychological injuries that Padraig suffered as a result of the accident.

Sinnott Solicitors issued High Court proceedings against the employers for negligence and breach of duty towards Padraig. It transpired that the driver of the forklift did not receive adequate training which was a large causation factor for the accident.

The claim settled within a period of two years and Padraig received compensation in the sum of €125,000 together with an agreement from the employer’s insurers to pay his legal costs.  Padraig also recovered his loss of earnings which amounted to approximately €18,000 to cover the period which he was absent from work and unpaid.

Sinnott Solicitors will explain the claim process thoroughly to you from beginning to end and we will ensure that you will receive the maximum compensation available for you in the event that you sustain the back injury in the workplace.

>> Read our comprehensive guide to the procedure for taking a workplace injury claim here