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Worker falls from wooden pallet during remodeling work at a fruit processing facility.

Michigan State University
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 01MI068, 2002 May; :1-9
On August 22, 2001, a 55-year old male was injured when he fell from a wooden pallet being used as a personnel platform. The pallet was unsecured on the forks of rough terrain forklift. The victim was removing roof fascia boards during a remodeling project at a fruit processing facility. The victim stood on the pallet while the forklift driver raised the pallet to approximately 6 feet off the floor. The forklift driver exited the forklift to wait for the victim to drop the removed fascia board. The victim used a crowbar to loosen one end of the fascia board. The victim pulled the fascia board away from the wall. When the board came loose, the longer portion of the board struck the wooden pallet. The impact caused the victim to lose his balance, and he fell off of the pallet, landing on his back on a concrete floor. A coworker called emergency response. Emergency response treated the victim at the scene and transported him to a local hospital. The victim died ten days later at the hospital. Recommendations: 1. Employees must be trained in the procedures to safely perform a personnel lift using approved platforms. 2. Prior to each personnel lift with a rough terrain forklift, employers should ensure that a pre-lift meeting occurs to review appropriate requirements and procedures for safe work operation. 3. Employers should provide employees with all protective equipment necessary, including a 100% fall protection system compatible with the work being performed, instruct employees in the proper use of the system and equipment, and ensure its use. 4. Employers should develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive health and safety program that includes, but is not limited to, training in hazard recognition and avoidance and job hazard analysis. 5. MIOSHA may wish to consider developing additional information to assist employers unfamiliar with construction safety standards to distinguish maintenance vs. construction activities and to identify safety issues unique to construction work. 6. MIOSHA may wish to consider whether there are circumstances in general industry settings where a pre-lift meeting would be beneficial in increasing the worker safety when elevating personnel in the General Industry Safety Standard Part 21, Powered Industrial Trucks.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Training; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-performance; Safety-programs; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-safety-programs; Occupational-hazards; Roofing-industry; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-01MI068; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division