Avoid these Common Telehandler Accidents

Posted on December 28, 2021


Telehandlers are a type of forklift that has a boom that can extend loads out and up.  They are a multi-purpose piece of machinery with many different types of boom attachments used for many different industries.  Equipment with a telescopic boom can have a wide range of accidents.

Common Types of Accidents

OSHA conducts investigations of reported forklift accidents to determine the cause of injury or death.  These reports show many different types of forklift accidents under a variety of circumstances. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the two most common types of forklift accidents are:

  • Struck by Forklift
  • Hit by Falling Load


How to Stay Safe

The most common cause of injury or death involving telehandlers is being struck by the forklift. This can be from serious operator error such as tipping over or during normal operating circumstances.  A person can be struck by a forklift in a tip over when the forklift is on uneven ground, improperly loaded or the operator abruptly stops or turns.  The operator needs to be particularly aware that a person can be struck by the forklift when the load obstructs their vision.  Also, the rear end of the forklift swings out while making turns, potentially injuring anyone standing too close.  They also need to drive slowly and watch for pedestrians, particularly when backing up. It is important for those working around a forklift to watch for these hazards as well.

The second most common type of accidents associated with forklifts is from falling loads.  The operator must inspect the load before lifting it.  It should be secured to the forks if it is long or wide.  Loads should be shrink-wrapped and not stacked too high.  Another common cause of injury is when a load catches on something as it is being put into place.

Get Certified

There are many other aspects of safely operating all types of forklifts. Certification is required by OSHA and requires operators to be re-evaluated every three years. Whether you are a trainer or an operator, Hard Hat Training Series provides the certification that meets OSHA standards of safety to operate many different types of telehandlers.

Good Luck and Stay Safe!