The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing injuries and deaths of workers who operate or work near forklifts. Most fatalities occur when a worker is crushed by a forklift that has overturned or fallen from a loading dock. NIOSH investigations of forklift-related deaths indicate that many workers and employers (1) may not be aware of the risks of operating or working near forklifts and (2) are not following the procedures set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, consensus standards, or equipment manufacturer's guidelines. This Alert describes seven incidents resulting in the deaths of seven workers who were either operating or working near forklifts. In each incident, the deaths could have been prevented by using proper safety procedures and equipment and by following the provisions of the OSHA standards. NIOSH requests that editors of trade journals, safety and health officials, industry associations, unions, and employers in all industries bring the recommendations in this Alert to the attention of all workers who are at risk. The first edition of this Alert applied only to forklifts operated in a sitting position. However, this new edition includes a recommendation for employers and operators of stand-up forklifts with rear-entry access (see tear-out sheet and pages 6 and 7). In addition, the revised Alert contains several minor changes in wording to improve clarity.
Injury-prevention; Equipment-operators; Machine-operation; Forklifts; Mortality; Materials-handling-equipment; Manual-controls; Motor-vehicles; Safety-belts; Warehousing; Storage-facilities; Traumatic-injuries; Loading-docks; Safety-education; Drivers; Overloading; Equipment-reliability; Accident-statistics; Standards; Training