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Laborer/forklift operator dies when crushed by a forklift driven by a co-worker in California.

NIOSH 1999 Oct; :1-5
A 47-year old male laborer/forklift operator (decedent) died when he was crushed between a flatbed trailer and the rear of a forklift. He and his co-worker were moving recycling materials inside a congested storage yard. The decedent parked the forklift and proceeded to a flatbed trailer that was stored in the yard. Approximately 20 seconds later, his co-worker got into the forklift and proceeded to operate it by driving backwards. He did not look to the rear and crushed the decedent between the flatbed trailer and the rear of the forklift. The decedent fell underneath the trailer as the co-worker pulled forward. The forklift did not have a working backup alarm. The driver of the forklift had not been trained by the employer in its operation, but was hired as an experienced recycling worker which includes forklift operation. No documentation of safety training or safety meetings was produced. The employer did not have a complete, written Injury and Illness Program (IIPP). The company general manager indicated he was responsible for safety, but was unsure how to fully carry out those obligations. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers should develop a complete Injury and Illness Program. As part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) employers should: 1. ensure drivers look in the direction of travel when operating forklifts. 2. develop a system of notification when one forklift operator takes over for another. 3. ensure employees are formally trained or tested in the use of forklifts prior to being allowed to operate them. 4. purchase forklifts with backup alarms or have backup alarms installed on forklifts not equipped with a backup alarm. 5. ensure forklifts and other equipment have ample room to operate safely in the yard.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Safety-programs; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Training; Warning-devices; Warning-signals; Warning-systems; Equipment-operators
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-99CA005; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute