OSHA estimates there are about 85 forklift fatalities per year, 34,900 serious injuries and 61,800 non-serious injuries. According to the Industrial Truck Association, there are about 855,900 forklifts in the U.S., so over 11 percent will be involved in some type of accident each year (assuming only one accident per forklift).
The ITA also reports that the useful life of a lift truck is eight years, which means that about 90 percent of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident during their useful life.
The main cause of forklift fatalities is tipovers (42 percent). The other causes are crushed between vehicle and a surface (25 percent), crushed between two vehicles (11 percent), struck or run over by a forklift (10 percent), struck by falling material (8 percent) and fall from platform on the forks (4 percent).
Fatalities occur most likely in manufacturing facilities (42 percent), followed by construction (23.8 percent), wholesale trades (12.5 percent), transportation (11 percent), retail trade (9 percent) and mining (1.2 percent).
Studies show that most accidents could have been prevented by better training and training can also reduce the severity of an accident.