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Janitor falls from personnel platform resting on forklift prongs and dies in California.

Public Health Institute
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 98CA013, 1999 Feb; :1-4
A 50-year old janitor (decedent) died when he fell from a personnel platform that had been lifted by a forklift. When he leaned out during a wall washing operation, the platform tilted and the decedent fell over the platform's guardrail dropping 12 feet to the concrete floor. The personnel platform had not been lifted by placing the forklift prongs into the channels in the bottom of the platform. The platform was just resting on the top of the forklift prongs since the decedent had lifted it from the side rather than the front. The decedent was not authorized to drive the forklift and, according to company management and two employees, had never driven the forklift prior to this incident. The top guard rail was 35 inches above the platform's base. There was no means to secure the platform to the forks or mast. The decedent was not wearing fall protection. The forklift operator who had lifted the decedent to the 12 foot height, was not at the controls of the forklift when the decedent fell. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure employees do not operate machinery until they are trained and authorized. 2. ensure personnel platforms conform to industry regulations. 3. ensure forklift operators remain at the forklift controls when employees are in raised personnel platforms 4. ensure employees working at heights wear personal fall protection. 5. develop and implement a comprehensive employee safety program.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Training; Safety-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Maintenance-workers
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-98CA013; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division