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Hispanic construction laborer dies and two coworkers are injured after falling 10 feet from an unsecured box on the forks of a forklift - North Carolina.

Higgins DN
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 2003-05, 2003 Mar; :1-8
On August 26, 2002, a 23-year-old Hispanic construction laborer (the victim) died and two coworkers were injured after falling 10 feet to the ground from an unsecured wooden box that had been elevated on the forks of a rough terrain forklift. After the victim and his coworkers had been lifted in the box to a position where they could wash a recently bricked wall, the forklift operator, who was also the victim's foreman, exited the forklift. Several minutes later the forklift operator and a coworker heard workers screaming and heard a scraping sound as the box and workers struck the ground. The forklift operator ran to help the workers who had fallen while the coworker called 911. The forklift operator performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the victim who had no pulse and was not breathing. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and police personnel responded within 5 minutes. EMS personnel continued CPR on the victim and provided first aid to the injured workers before transporting all three workers to the local hospital. The victim was pronounced dead in the hospital emergency room. One injured coworker was hospitalized and the other was treated for his injuries and released the following day. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. implement a policy which requires the use of a safety platform secured to the lifting carriage and/or forks when lifting personnel with a powered industrial truck (e.g., forklift); 2. develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program for all workers which includes training in hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions. The comprehensive training plan should identify required specialized training, i.e., fall protection training and training for forklift operators; 3. ensure that workers who are part of a multilingual workforce comprehend instructions in safe work procedures for the tasks to which they are assigned. Additionally, general contractors should ensure through contract language that all subcontractors implement appropriate safety and health programs and training specific to the work performed.
Region-4; Accident-analysis; Work-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Construction-Search
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division