The OSHA reports that an estimated 95,000 workers are in industrial truck accidents or incidents. These accidents result in everything from burn injuries to head trauma to spinal cord injuries and fatalities. Worse, not all employees are correctly insured to ensure that medical costs resulting from these accidents are fully covered. In many cases, investigations into these accidents revealed poor operator training.
Lift trucks are one of the most commonly used industrial trucks in the workplace. Some employers do try to save money by taking on less insurance for workers, by offering less training, and by doing less maintenance on trucks. In the long run, these strategies can result in accidents and in much higher costs for companies. According to Safe-T-Consultants, many companies skimp on training and maintenance, even though these two things can keep insurance costs and overall costs down.
Insurance costs are something that many companies struggle with. The National Coalition on Healthcare reports that health insurance premiums for small companies increase 12% each year, on average, while inflation has been an average of 2.5% annually. As a result, some companies do not offer employees coverage or offer only minimal coverage. Unfortunately, if a workplace accident occurs and a truck accident in the workplace causes personal injuries, the injuries are likely to require a great deal of coverage. Truck accidents, due to the size and force of trucks, often result in fatalities or permanent personal injuries requiring extensive hospital stays. Employees may be forced to seek legal redress to cover these costs if employers do not offer adequate insurance. For the employer, offering good health insurance despite the premium costs, is a priority.
Training truck drivers and other employees is much more affordable than health coverage for employees and can keep accidents as well as insurance premiums down. Training can cost very little per hour, since all employees can be trained at the same time. Insurance companies may also be willing to consider driver training and such additional safety measures taken when considering premiums, so such training can start saving companies money upfront. In many cases, training costs can also have tax benefits for motor carriers. Extra training, however, can significantly help reduce trucking accidents. Well trained drivers and employees know what to do to prevent accidents and can react appropriately to prevent an accident.
Maintenance can also keep insurance costs down while reducing car accidents. Regular maintenance of trucks should include frequent checks of all system, seasonal tire changes, immediate repairs when needed, and careful consideration of truck or truck part recalls. Maintenance helps ensure that trucks will not cause an accident and can help prevent expensive suits after an accident.
Good safety processes are also important in helping businesses prevent trucking accidents. Good business practices for safety include limiting truck driver hours and encouraging reasonable deadlines which will not require the driver to speed. Other best practices can include random tests for controlled substances, employee background checks, and proper storage and securing of truck cargo. All of these extra steps will help prevent high long-term costs and will also help prevent accidents.