NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Hispanic lumberyard worker dies when struck by a forklift - North Carolina.

Lutz-V; Lincoln-J
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 2012-01, 2014 Dec; :1-15
A 58-year-old Hispanic lumberyard worker died on March 30, 2012, from crushing injuries received when a forklift driven by a coworker struck him. The lumberyard laborer was walking from his work area to the employee lunchroom. At the same time, and in the same area, a coworker was operating a forklift that was loaded with lumber. The forklift operator's field of vision was limited because he was transporting the lumber "load-forward" and the load partially obscured his view. He did not see the laborer but stopped when he felt the forklift roll over something. He exited the cab and found the laborer unresponsive, lying near the left side of the forklift. The laborer was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner identified head and thoracic injuries as the cause of death. Contributing Factors: Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include: 1. Forklift operator's field of vision was obstructed in the direction of travel by the load of lumber he was transporting and surrounding buildings. 2. Equipment and pedestrian pathways were not clearly marked or their use enforced. 3. Laborer's ability to hear the oncoming forklift may have been hampered by noise from the dust collection unit. Recommendations: NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Develop, train on, implement, and enforce safe forklift operating procedures. 2. Develop, train on, implement, and enforce workplace pedestrian safety procedures. 3. Consider proximity warning systems when purchasing or upgrading forklifts. 4. Ensure that contingent workers receive all required safety training and understand safe operating procedures for each job they will be performing.
Region-4; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Engineering-controls; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Machine-operators; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries; Warning-systems; Work-operations Work-practices; Field-of-vision; Training; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division