Assembler / Fabricator Dies When Struck by "L" Rack Loaded with Glass Mirrors in Washington State
Washington Case Report: 08WA049
June 30, 2010
In September 2008, a 35-year-old male died when he was struck by a metal shipping framework known as an “L” rack (see Figure 1In 1). The victim was a skilled assembler and fabricator who worked in the model room at a custom glass and mirror manufacturing facility in Washington State. The rack was loaded with a crate of mirrors that tipped over while being moved by three employees using two pallet jacks. Prior to the event the victim was engaged in moving a large “L” rack loaded with an estimated 3,000 lb crate of plate mirrors. The victim and two co-workers were in the process of moving the large “L” rack of mirrors closer to a glass cutting table area inside the business. The rack was previously offloaded by other employees using a forklift from a truck and then moved again by the victim, a co-worker, and the night supervisor using two manual pallet jacks. The “L” rack was designed with forklift pockets at the bottom with the intention that it be moved using a forklift only. As the loaded rack was being moved and repositioned by the employees using the two pallet jacks, it fell rearward and struck the victim. Several employees attempted to move the rack and mirror crate while 911 responded. The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital due to blunt force head trauma caused by being struck by the rack loaded with the crate of mirrors.