A worker was killed while attempting to inspect a hydraulic leak on a forklift. He was working alone in a storage warehouse, retrieving a motor for a loader. The incident was not witnessed. It was surmised from the evidence that the worker (the victim), while moving a pallet of mixed items with the forklift, noticed a trail of hydraulic fluid along the warehouse driveway. He drove the forklift back into the warehouse and unloaded the pallet from the forks or tines of the forklift. With the motor on and the brake engaged, he raised the tines to place absorbent pads under the mast and hydraulic system. He then reached under the left tine to check the source of the leak. The hydraulic system failed, causing the tines to collapse on his head, neck, and shoulder. When a co-worker went to the warehouse to locate a key, he found the victim pinned under the tines. Unable to raise the tines to free the victim, he went to a maintenance shop for help. Emergency medical services were notified and paramedics were dispatched to the incident site. Co-workers were able to raise the tines to free the victim. Finding no pulse, co-workers left the victim's position undisturbed and awaited the arrival of emergency medical technicians. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on the findings of the investigation, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure completion of forklift training prior to the use of the equipment; 2. ensure that only trained and authorized personnel be permitted to maintain, repair, adjust, and inspect industrial trucks (e.g., forklifts); 3. ensure workers follow the manufacturer and company safety guidelines when operating equipment.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Equipment-operators; Training; Warehousing