One of the most hazardous types of vehicles in warehouses, factories and workshops nationwide, including here in California, is a forklift. Company owners and employees often underestimate the dangers associated with forklifts, and it is not uncommon for workers to become complacent with these vehicles that regularly move about their workplaces without creating much noise. However, workplace accidents involving lift trucks are often serious and sometimes cause fatalities.
Even without loads, forklifts are very heavy, and pedestrians have hardly any protection. A forklift recently struck a 61-year-old employee of a concrete business in another state. Authorities said the forklift's load obscured the view of the operator, preventing him from seeing the pedestrian crossing his path. The worker who was struck and crushed reportedly died at the accident scene.
As with all fatal workplace accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate this incident. Investigators will aim to establish whether any violations of safety regulations led to the death of this worker. Enforcing compliance with federal safety rules may encourage company owners to prioritize workers' safety.
Even if safety protocols are established to prevent workplace accidents in the future, it will be too late for the loved ones of this worker. Loss of income and the high costs of end-of-life arrangements may create several stumbling blocks. Fortunately, the workers' compensation program in California and other states offers death benefits to the dependents of those who lost their lives on the job. By pursuing death benefits claims, the surviving family members may receive compensation to help them through this difficult time.
Source: literock969.com, "EHT Man Crushed to Death By Forklift at Work", Eddie Davis, Dec. 9, 2015