Forklift Operator Crushed by Full Pallet of Soft Drink Cans—Oregon

Oregon Case Report:20OR010
Release Date: December 7, 2020

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 February 28th, 2020, a 47-year-old forklift operator was crushed by a loaded pallet of soft drink cans that weighed ~2000 pounds. The pallet was on the top layer of a pallet row. Pallet rows were oriented back-to-back. The warehouse inventory management system directed the operator to pull pallets from a row that didn’t contain any product. The operator pulled 4 pallets from the back of the adjoining row, destabilizing the top layer of pallets. While cleaning up some cases that fell off one of the pulled pallets, the top layer pallet fell onto operator (from a height of approximately 20 feet), causing massive internal injuries. The forklift operator worked swing shift full-time at the warehouse, as well as another job that started at 6am, working ~70 hours/week total.

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Page last reviewed: December 3, 2021