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Am J Ind Med. 1999 Nov;36(5):513-21.

Injuries related to forklifts and other powered industrial vehicles in automobile manufacturing.

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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505-2888, USA.



The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, estimates that approximately 100 workers are fatally injured each year in forklift and other powered industrial vehicle (PIV) incidents, and an estimated 34,000 work-related injuries involving forklifts are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year.


This paper presents a descriptive analysis of 916 incidents involving forklifts and other PIVs that occurred in 54 plants operated by a major U.S. automobile manufacturer over a 3-year period. The injury data were obtained from a company-wide occupational injury and illness surveillance system which was implemented in 1989.


The 916 PIV-related incidents resulted in 3 fatalities and 913 nonfatal injuries. The most common incident involved pedestrians (35%) who were struck by a PIV, or the load being carried by a PIV, or a rack or bin that had been struck by a PIV. Of the 913 nonfatal injuries, 41% resulted in an employee missing work and incurred a total of 22,730 lost workdays, an average of 61 days per lost workday incident.


Recommendations are presented to reduce the risk of injury, for example by separating PIV and pedestrian traffic, restricting the use of forklifts in an area where a large number of pedestrians travel and improving the training of all personnel who drive PIVs. Am. J. Ind. Med. 36:513-521, 1999. Published 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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