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Rigger killed when equipment being unloaded from a semi-trailer fell from the high-lift fork truck and landed on him.

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 02MI028, 2002 Nov; :1-7
On March 1, 2002, a 52-year old rigger died while he was assisting in the removal of a piece of metal framework weighing 1500-2500 pounds. The framework was located in the middle of an enclosed trailer bed. Approximately 1/2 of the trailer load was material on pallets and had been unloaded from the trailer with a high lift fork truck. The metal framework involved in this incident was free-standing, not on a pallet. The handrail side of the framework was facing the open end of the trailer; the opposite side of the framework had a hopper and the equipment motor and was facing the truck cab. To remove the framework, a chain was wrapped around the bottom rails and the framework was pulled to the end of the trailer bed by the forklift. While pulling the framework toward the end of the truck, the framework became "cocked" to one side and lodged or caught on something in the trailer and would not continue to move. The forklift was positioned so the forks were placed under the lower framework cross beams and the handrail side placed against the backrest. The victim climbed into the trailer, went under the framework and kneeled on the bed floor while under the framework to see what the framework was caught on and to guide the forklift operator. The forklift operator lifted the framework a short distance from the trailer bed floor. As it was being lifted, the framework became dislodged. The sudden movement allowed it to lurch off of the forks toward the hopper/motor side. The victim attempted, but was unable to get out of the way of the falling framework. The hopper landed on the victim's back pinning him to the trailer bed floor. The semi-truck driver called 911 and emergency responders arrived. The victim was declared dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Employers should ensure that powered industrial truck operators properly position and secure all loads before lifting and prohibit employees from working under raised loads. 2. Employers should develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health program that includes a powered industrial truck safety program and employee training. 3. Employers should conduct a job safety analysis for each individual rigging job. 4. Employers should develop and implement a health and safety committee that includes representatives from both management and labor. 5. The company should develop a written disciplinary procedure for safety and health policy violations.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-performance; Occupational-accidents; Truck-drivers; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-personnel; Steelworkers
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-02MI028; 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