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Warehouse worker fatally injured when struck by falling metal grates - Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State 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 09MA042, 2011 May; :1-8
On October 23, 2009 a 49-year-old male warehouse worker (victim) was fatally injured while collecting product for an order. While getting ready to move the pallet jack that he was using to the location of the next item to be picked, he was struck by metal grates that fell from their top shelf storage location. A co-worker who was in an adjacent aisle accessing the top section of a rack heard the crash and then found the victim underneath the metal grates. Co-workers cleared the grates away from the victim, started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and placed a call for emergency medical serviced (EMS). Within minutes EMS and the local police and fire departments arrived at the incident location, and the victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1) Ensure that infrequently accessed materials stored within rack systems are secure by using supplemental cables or gates across the front of the rack; 2) Install guards on the rear of racks in back-to-back setups to reduce the chance of disrupting materials in adjacent racks; 3) Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety and health program that includes topics related to warehouse operations such as safe storage of items, retrieval of stuck items, and safe operation of powered industrial trucks and provide training in languages on these topics that employees can comprehend; and 4) Ensure that all federal and state required trainings and licenses for forklift operators are valid and up-to-date.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries; Warehousing; Materials-storage; Materials-transport; Materials-handling-equipment; Storage-facilities; Training; Transport-mechanisms; Equipment-operators
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-09MA042; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division