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Welder falls from boom forklift platform when boom shifts laterally.

Iowa Department of Public Health
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 03IA021, 2004 Aug; :1-7
A 39-year-old welder was killed when he fell 20 feet off a platform attached to the forks of a boom forklift. The man was part of a 3-man crew installing a catwalk and ladder assembly along the side of a cement silo for a wood products company. The work platform was specifically made by the company for use with their rough terrain forklift. It was 4 x 12 ft. and had removable guardrails on its perimeter, except for the end where the victim was working. The platform was at a working height of 35-40 ft. off the ground while a co-worker was on a catwalk 20 ft. below the victim. The owner of the company was operating the forklift truck on the ground. At one point, the men were adjusting the lateral position of the raised platform using the frametilt function (sway control) of the forklift. While moving the platform to the right, the victim yelled, "Stop", however the boom and the platform kept moving to the far right position and the victim fell off the unprotected left end of the platform, landing on the metal catwalk 20 ft. below him. The man was not wearing any sort of harness or safety line, nor was he wearing a hard hat. He sustained fatal head injuries and was dead at the scene when firefighters arrived. At that time the boom for the forklift was situated to the far right position with the left front wheel of the machine raised two feet off the ground. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Operators of rough terrain forklifts should never use the sway control feature of the machine to make lateral adjustments of a raised load. 2. Company-built personnel platforms on extended boom forklifts must comply with ANSI/ASME standards and OSHA regulations. 3. Those who use a personnel platform on a rough terrain boom forklift must still use approved fall-protective equipment.
Region-7; 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; Construction; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Safety-helmets; Welders; Welding-industry
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-03IA021; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division