Forklifts are a common site at many California businesses. Employers and employees alike often become too complacent when it comes to their safe operation, which leads to numerous workplace injuries each year. Recently, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health cited one company in a forklift accident that cost a worker his life.
On Nov. 21, 2016, a 60-year-old man was operating a forklift at a roofing and building supply company in northern California. As he transported materials from one location to the other down a sloped ramp, a bag of mortar fell off the forklift and landed in front of its right wheel. The worker attempted to back up in order to maneuver around the bag. That’s when one of the rear wheels of the forklift went off the loading ramp and caused it to topple over. The man tried to jump free of the falling vehicle, but instead was crushed by it.
Cal/OSHA reported that the accident could have been prevented if the employer had installed a guard on the edge of the ramp. In addition, the agency blamed the San Francisco company for not providing adequate training that would have told the man to remain buckled and seated when the forklift began to tip over. Other violations were also found that threaten the safety of all employees.
Even if this company fixes the issues discovered by Cal/OSHA, they would come too late to prevent the fatal workplace injuries suffered by this victim. His family must now find a way to go on without his presence and income. Fortunately, the California workers’ compensation system may help the family with the financial part of its loss. As would be the case for many other families, obtaining those benefits could cause a great deal of stress and frustration in an already difficult time. Turning to an attorney for guidance and assistance could help alleviate those issues and result in the family receiving much needed benefits.
Source: ohsonline.com, “Cal/OSHA Cites Building Supply Company in Forklift Fatality“, April 19, 2017