Forklift Operator Dies After Falling Into a Recycling Baler — California
California Case Report: 22CA001
Release Date: March 24, 2023
On September 2, 2022, at the end of the night shift, a 58-year-old forklift operator was delivering waste into a recycling baler. He climbed down from the forklift while it was still running, and left the forks in a raised position. Although this was an unwitnessed incident, video from a nearby security camera showed him climbing the stairs to the recycling baler control panel. When he didn’t answer his radio or return the forklift at the end of his shift, co-workers began a search for him. He was found inside the recycling baler crushed to death.
California FACE (CA/FACE) investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers using recycling equipment should:
- Ensure that all personnel who operate balers are fully trained and supervised on procedures to remove a jam properly.
In addition, recycling baler manufacturers should:
- Design and install safety features to keep workers away from moving parts.