A Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) is a term that encompasses a variety of machinery and vehicles that are designed to move heavy objects, lift pallets, load semi trailers, and move materials during construction projects. They are used in almost every major industry to some degree, and if that industry does not specifically use them, PITs are probably partially responsible for moving their final product from the warehouse to the consumer. Included in the PIT list are forklifts, pallet trucks, and motorized hand trucks. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has 11 different categories for these types of lifting or moving trucks, and requires that very specific safety protocol must be adhered to at all times when using such vehicles. These specific safety standards include detailed ID plates and tags used to identify certain types of vehicles, rules that regulate what type of truck can or cannot be used in a specific environment, and what type of truck is or is not allowed to handle certain items. All of these safety protocols are put in place because PIT operators, or forklift operators, have an incredibly dangerous occupation, and injuries happen all too frequently, even when adequate training is carried out and the proper safety measures are taken.
PIT Use Leads to Tens of Thousands of Serious Injuries Every Year
According to OSHA, approximately 85 people are killed in forklift accidents each year. And, roughly 35,000 people are seriously injured in forklift and other PIT accidents annually. OSHA estimates that around one quarter of all PIT injuries and fatalities could be avoided if the operator had received proper training, yet that still leaves tens of thousands of injured employees who were asked by their supervisor to move or lift an unsafe object, were using a machine that was not equipped for the job, were handling dangerous materials, or simply made a mistake and paid an unfortunately heavy price because of it. With around one million forklifts and other powered industrial trucks in operation in Maryland and the rest of the country, PITs are present nearly everywhere. They pose a hazard to both their operators and other employees as well, due to the hazard of causing falling objects. The most common types of forklift and PIT injuries include falling load accidents, being pinned or crushed between the forklift and another item, being struck or run over by the PIT, or being involved in a PIT crash, such as tipping over or going over a ledge.
Call a Pasadena, Maryland Attorney Today
Operating a PIT is a difficult job that comes with plenty of risks, and the workplace environment has a lot to do with the dangers at hand. However, no matter how the accident occurred, all PIT operators and other employees who are injured on the job deserve the workers’ compensation benefits that they need to get back on their feet. If you were injured in Maryland, call Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373.