Salesman killed when forklift falls off truck loading ramp

Oregon Case Report:07OR011
Release Date: October 2009

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


On June 4, 2007, a 37-year-old forklift salesman was crushed, and died 2 days later, after a forklift he was delivering for a customer fell off the dock plate between a flatbed truck and a loading dock. The truck had been backed up to the loading dock, the parking brake set, and the transmission placed in neutral. However, the truck wheels were not blocked against motion. The salesman initially operated the forklift to release tension on the winch line as the truck driver removed the binding chains. As the truck driver went to store the binding chains, the salesman backed the forklift off the bed of the truck. The truck bed was 9 inches below the loading dock, and the dock plate connecting the truck to the dock was set at an incline. The drive wheels were on the front of the forklift (to the rear in this instance), and as the salesman accelerated to go up the incline, the drive wheels on the bed of the truck pushed the truck away from the dock. The dock plate slipped off the truck bed and the forklift fell 4 feet to the ground. The victim was crushed between the forklift and the loading dock.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015