Saturday, February 7, 2009

Forklift Fatalities - part 3

This case was investigated by the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program. This case report was selected it represented one of the most common types of fatal forklift incidents: (1) forklift overturns, (2) workers struck, crushed, or pinned by a forklift, and (3) falls from a forklift.

Case 3-Forklift Overturn

A 41-year-old male laborer was fatally injured when the sit-down type forklift he was operating fell off a loading dock and pinned him under the overhead guard. The forklift was not equipped with a seat belt. The loading dock had large cracks in the surface and was in need of extensive repair. It was raining when the victim left the storage building to lift a load from the back of a pickup truck. Evidence indicates that either the victim's forklift was too close to the outer edge of the loading dock (which crumbled) or the right front tire was caught in a large crack in the loading dock, causing the forklift to overturn.

Contributing factors to this accident may include (but are not limited to) deficient driving surface maintenance, lack of a seat belt, lack of sufficient forklift safety training and operator error.

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