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What to Do When a Forklift Tips Over

What do you need to do when a forklift tips over?

  1. Stay calm and focused
  2. Try not to leave the forklift
  3. Keep wearing the seatbelt
  4. Stay as stable as possible
  5. Get medical attention 

A forklift tip-over happens when the center of gravity of the forklift is shifted forward or sideways, causing the equipment to lose balance. It’s important to know what to do when a forklift tips over, so you can minimize your injuries as much as possible. But what causes this type of accident?

One of the common reasons for a tip-over is improper driving habits on an incline. Turning on an incline can shift the center of gravity of the forklift to the side, leading to a sideways tip-over. Lifting or lowering a load while on a slope will also cause the forklift to tip forward. 

Other than that, overspeeding and sudden braking can also cause a tip-over. This makes the forklift unstable, so operators are advised to follow speed regulations to avoid an accident. In addition to that, transporting loads that exceed the limit also changes the center of gravity of the forklift — leading to another tip-over. 

A trained operator will know how to avoid the causes of tip over, ensuring safe and efficient work. But if you find yourself in this accident, here are some things that you can do:

Stay Calm and Focused Stay Calm and Focused

The most important thing to do in the event of a forklift tip-over is to stay as calm as you can. While it’s scary to be involved in an accident, panicking will only lead to wrong decisions. It prevents you from making quick and smart decisions that will help reduce the risk of injury and damage. 

One way you can reduce your nervousness is by knowing how to deal with the situation. The next tips will arm you with the knowledge you need to make a quick decision in a forklift tip-over. 

Try Not to Leave the Forklift

When a forklift is in the process of tipping over, it’s important to stay inside the forklift and not try to jump out. As the forklift is rolling over, it can accelerate rapidly and pin you down. This can result in serious injuries and fatalities. 

Try not to leave the forklift even after the forklift has settled. Wait to be medically examined until it’s approved that you can safely move. Depending on the severity of the tip-over, you can sustain internal injuries that can be worsened by moving. Try to stay in the forklift unless there is a life-threatening emergency, such as a fire. 

Keep Wearing the Seatbelt

Keep Wearing the Seatbelt

You should be wearing your seatbelt while operating the forklift. It will keep you from being thrown out of the forklift in the event of a tip-over. Since it keeps you in your seat, it prevents your head and torso from being trapped between the ground and the forklift. 

Always keep your seatbelt on in the event of a tip-over. You won’t know where the forklift will end up, so you might be suspended upside down or the forklift might fall down a slope. The seat belt will keep you safe until the forklift can be returned to its proper position. 

Stay as Stable as Possible

It’s recommended to keep your hands on the steering wheel in the event of a forklift tip-over. For instance, a tip-over can happen on a slope. If you leave the steering wheel turning, the forklift can be steered over the edge. 

Instead, grip the steering wheel and brace your feet firmly on the floor before the forklift tips over. Holding and pushing against the steering wheel can help you absorb the initial impact and prevent you from being thrown away. Lean in the opposite direction of the fall and lean forward.

Get Medical Attention

Get Medical Attention

Other people at the scene of the accident should be alert and seek immediate medical attention for the operator and other people involved in the accident. Depending on the severity of the tip-over, the operator might need to be sent to the hospital for treatment. 

Key Takeaway

When a forklift tips over, stay as calm as possible and try not to jump off the vehicle while it’s happening. Keep your seatbelt on and hold on tight to the steering wheel while bracing your feet on the floorboard. Lean forward and in the opposite direction of the fall. This way, you can minimize the injuries you sustain. Wait for medical attention before moving. 

Now that you know what to do when a forklift tips over, you can reduce the risk of injury in this accident. Hopefully, you won’t need to use these tips, as long as you safely operate the forklift on your site. 

If you’re interested in purchasing a forklift in the Philippines, you may want to check out the Clark Lithium-Ion Forklift in 1.6 and 3.2-ton capacity. It offers similar performance and reliability as an internal combustion truck. Aside from that, it has a low center of gravity to help increase work stability and other safety features for the operator too. You may send a message to our team at Multico for other inquiries. 

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