Workers in Missouri and other states in facilities in which forklifts are operated must be provided with the necessary safety training. After a recent fatal work accident involving a forklift, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said forklifts are the cause of approximately 85 fatalities per year across the country. The Industrial Truck Association says almost 856,000 forklifts are in operation nationwide.
Unfortunately, many employers disregard the hazards posed by these machines, and senseless fatalities occur. This recent incident took place at a supermarket distribution center in another state. Reportedly, a 51-year-old employee fell from a loading dock when a tractor-trailer pulled away. A forklift that was in the process of unloading the truck then fell on top of the worker.
The man died from being crushed by the weight of the forklift. Authorities say the crushing of skulls, necks and backs of workers are the most frequent causes of fatalities in forklift accidents. OSHA says employers fail to evaluate all work areas in which forklifts are operated, and then establish designated areas for walking and operation of motorized equipment. An OSHA director says until employers commit to taking responsibility for employee safety in distribution centers, senseless deaths will occur.
If a Missouri family loses a loved one in a fatal work accident, the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program offers death benefits to surviving family members. They may file benefits claims to obtain financial coverage of end-of-life expenses and lost income. In addition, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can assess the circumstances surrounding the tragedy and determine whether there are sufficient grounds for seeking additional relief through the filing a third-party claim in a civil court.
Source: bostonrealestatetimes.com, “Worker Killed by Falling Forklift“, Jan. 25, 2017