Skip to content

Forklift Accident Statistics in Canada

by Carllaen Joshua Gonzales 13 Jan 2024 0 Comments

Numbers have proven that a forklift is one of the most dangerous things in a warehouse. They can cause injuries, fatalities, and monetary loss. In this article, we're looking at the recorded numbers and statistics, as well as some of the most common causes of forklift accidents in Canada. The goal is to educate ourselves on these dangers so that we may avoid them in the future. Let's get started.

forklift accident statistics in Canada

Related: OSHA Forklift Accident Statistics (USA)

Frequency and cost of the problem

Forklift accidents are a significant safety concern in Canada. According to the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), forklifts are involved in approximately 10% of workplace fatalities and 5% of serious workplace injuries each year. That translates to roughly one fatality and 400 serious injuries annually.

forklift accident statistics in Canada

In addition, AWCBC estimates that forklift-related accidents cost Canadian workplaces over $125 million annually in direct compensation costs alone. It's true that the cost of the human life taken is immeasurable, but the financial burden is also significant.

Data from AWCBC also shows that:

  • 23% of forklift-related fatalities in Canada occur in Ontario, the most populous province.
  • 15% of forklift-related fatalities occur in British Columbia, with a strong industrial sector.
  • 14% of forklift-related fatalities occur in Quebec, another major industrial province.

Number of injuries and fatalities

The following data was obtained from the AWCBC National Workplace Injury, Disease and Fatality Statistics for Canada involving Plant & Industrial Powered Vehicles, Tractors, Lift trucks:

Year Injuries Fatalities
2012 1,909 9
2013 1,961 8
2014 2,009 5
2015 1,834 6
2016 1,731 5
2017 1,967 6
2018 2,024 8
2019 2,177 6
2020 1,834 11
2021 2,149 11


Also, warehouse and distribution specialist at Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) Norm Kramer, stated that motor vehicle incidents have been a leading cause of traumatic fatalities in Ontario over the past several years. In 2021 alone, Ontario reported 633 forklift or industrial powered vehicle lost-time injuries. Of those, 23 percent resulted from pedestrians being struck by industrial-powered vehicles, said Kramer. 

    Causes of forklift accidents in Canada

    The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recorded common factors that lead to forklift accidents in Canada:

    • 25% of forklift accidents involve exceeding safe speeds
    • Improperly loaded forklifts contribute to 15% of accidents.
    • 10% of accidents are linked to operators not paying attention
    • Workers with less than two years of forklift experience are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.

    causes of forklift accidents in Canada

    Workplace design sometimes also contributes to forklift truck incidents. According to CCOHS, employers should be aware that narrow crowded aisles, intersection and door obstructions, ramps or flooring with different surfaces, as well as the volume of traffic in the operations area, can pose an additional danger to the operators, pedestrians, equipment, and goods.

    Always observe safety in the workplace

    Forklifts are powerful tools, and their safe operation is important. By acknowledging the statistics, understanding the risks, and implementing proactive safety measures, we can ensure that these machines continue to work for us, instead of working against our well-being.

    forklift safety

    Remember, most forklift accidents are completely preventable. Let's prioritize safety and keep Canadian workplaces moving forward, one responsible lift at a time.



    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

    Thanks for subscribing!

    This email has been registered!

    Shop the look

    Choose Options

    Edit Option
    Back In Stock Notification
    is added to your shopping cart.
    Compare ()
    Product SKU Description Collection Availability Product Type Other Details
    this is just a warning