Young Worker Falls from Forklift

Young Worker Falls from Forklift

New equipment can introduce something unexpected
into the workplace: danger. A young worker, just 3 weeks on the job, fell from an elevated
platform of this order-selector-style forklift sustaining a serious head injury. These are
the findings of WorkSafeBC’s investigation. Two young workers were employed in this warehouse:
a Lead Hand, and the “New Worker.” Their job was to fill orders by hand-picking items
out of these boxes. Workers used a rolling scaffold staircase
to access the third level of racking and ladders to access the upper shelves. Thinking it would
make order-picking safer, the company purchased an order selector. Unlike a typical forklift, an order-selector
has a designated operator’s platform that the operator self-elevates to the desired
height. This new equipment gave workers easy access to all levels of racking in the warehouse. The new worker had never run a forklift before.
The Lead Hand, inadequately trained on forklift operation and fall protection herself, showed
the new worker what she knew about operating the forklift and how to put on the fall arrest
harness. With minimal instruction, the new worker was authorized to use the forklift. That wasn’t the only problem. The wood shelving
and the boxes on them protruded from the racking frame into the aisle, preventing the order
selector from running closer than 12 to 17 inches away from the racking. This added distance made it difficult for
any operator, while properly wearing the required fall protection, to reach items on the racks. The employer introduced a plywood-covered
pallet to be mounted on the forks. Workers used it as a work platform to stand on, at
elevation, to access items in the racks. This work platform was not built to comply with
required safety standards for work platforms mounted on forks. This created a serious hazard to workers.
In order to step onto the work platform from the designated operator’s platform, a worker
would have to forego using fall protection because the safety lanyard, designed to keep
the operator on the designated operator’s platform, would be too short to allow them
to reach into the racks. With a gap to reach across, an unsafe work
platform with unguarded edges, and no appropriate fall protection in use, the stage was set. On the day of the incident, the Lead Hand
directed the New Worker to move all the boxes on one set of racks to make way for new stock. The Lead Hand then went to work in a different
aisle. After lunch, she heard the forklift running. A short time later, the Lead Hand heard a
box and then something else hit the floor. She immediately went to where the New Worker
was working to see what had happened and found her on the floor, unresponsive. She had fallen
nearly 13 feet onto a concrete floor. There are many lessons to be learned here:
Always wear fall protection and remain on the designated operator’s platform when
using an order-selector style forklift. Don’t use makeshift work platforms. Doing
so defeats the built-in safety features of a designated operator’s platform and the
fall protection system. Maintain racking systems to ensure smooth
and proper operation of order selectors Follow manufacturer’s instructions for equipment
and develop safe work procedures for equipment new to the workplace. Train workers and supervisors to the CSA standard
for lift truck operators and to the fall protection requirements in the Regulation. Ensure supervisors
are knowledgeable in the procedures and that they regularly check that workers are following
them. Special care must be taken to orient, train, and supervise new and young workers. Young and inexperienced, these workers just
did not realize the hazardous conditions they were working in. Don’t just look at the
benefits new equipment can provide, make sure workers are protected against its hazards.


45 thoughts on “Young Worker Falls from Forklift”

  • CerebralAssassin1977 says:

    These are easy to operate if you follow the safety guidelines. Accidents only happen because of stupid and uneducated people.

  • What a waste of warehouse space! All the product is directly on racks, not on pallets, meaning it is intended to be hand picked only. They would do fine with a third of the aisle size.

  • Although i'm terrified of heights, I drive one of these at work, among many other machines. Once you're elevated on this machine, they are actually quite shaky if you shift around even a little so i can't believe they were using this without a harness! I buckle myself into that thing SO tight. I never received any proper training from my employer for this machine, just a short explanation from another worker. It was a thorough enough though and matched with my natural inclination to be cautious with all the machines, I feel quite comfortable operating it throughout the warehouse.

  • I'm a forklift operator. and I unload cargo off and on ships and in barges down on the port of new Orleans and I seen my share of accident crazy ones too make ya want to quit your job…….

  • we have these at work. we have platforms that go on the forks, and our fall equipment is at a length you can safely use it. this is a company issue.

  • Michael Sullivan says:

    Somehow the fact that the worker that got hurt was a female makes this worse to me. Shame on me, I know, but this is my honest gut response.

  • Our old company used to have these and would use cages on the forks. Shaky as hell and lifted us upwards of 40ft, or even higher to the ceiling of the warehouse to dust off the lamps or change bulbs. New company doesn't use this, it's extremely unsafe. They use scissor-lifts instead.

  • There should be no way a person should be operating any elevated order picker,cherry picker without a safety harness. they attach around your legs and around your person. those order pickers rock from side to side very easily.

  • The fuck would any worker allow themselves to be told to pull your harness off while your up there so you can pick… when I was doing it our harnesses reached that far and I be damn if I ever took it off in the air wtf.. and u dumbasses wonder why they only pay these retards 10-12$ a hour.

  • Safety first very simple or its you're life on the line. Plus superman can't fly why did you not strap you're belt you thought you could fly and resulted broken bones and teeth and brain damage. Take you're time what's better you're life or the product which comes and goes.

  • I nearly rolled a forklift when I was 16. Didnt even have a car licence but they let me lift tons of shit with the forklift. I got cocky after a while, and started speeding around corners. I had that forklift up on 2 wheels one time, It was millimetres from tipping over and I pooped my pants. I was always very careful after that.

  • More and more of these do NOT say if he dies??? He “fell” he was “crushed” he this and that. Say if he was KILLED!!!

  • Worked at Sunston Komatsu off the 5fwy Southern Cali met the top of the roof with the bottom of my shoe with a 2 or 3 very fuckin tall stage mast cherry picker style, overlooking the N/SB 5 Santa Ana FWY. Those were the days…

  • Well shouldn't been driving it without a lo license anyway just basic common sense if you know nothing about the machine don't touch it. But it is the employer's fault for letting the person use the stock picker simple. I drive a stock picker all the time.

  • Yes but she was to far from the shelf she should have get closer.
    She had no reson to fall by staying attach.
    Its bot prevention its dumness at it finest.

  • 50% of people who fall from a height of two stories will die. My guess is the 50% who survive are not falling on the hard concrete of a warehouse floor. I have been driving these lifts for almost 15 years and there is nothing safe about them. You cannot say "drive safer" you can only say "drive less dangerously" when it comes to these vehicles.

  • What is the music playing in the background of this video? Artist amd song, please? It stood out, as I initially watched, toward the end of the video.

  • Michael Delguidice says:

    I have been working in warehousing for over 20 years. I witnessed a fall, just like this one. The company which I no longer work for, but I will not mention the name, because I do not want to be sued. Ironically it was a warehouse manager who was trying to fill an order in a hurry. There where boxes and pallets not properly places in the racks all the time. The company never addressed the problem. The manage was trying to quickly fill a sample or for a prospective new client. Do to pallets hanging out of the racks because of tired employee working 16 hour shifts 6 days a week and the extremely high quota you had to maintain people cut corners. This 30 year employee experienced operator and manager had a hard time getting close to the racks. I was picking orders in the same isle. The manager unhooked his saftey harness just for one box he could not reach. He stepped out onto the pallet. As he quickly grabbed the box the pallet gave way to his and the loads weight. I saw him fall 30 feet to the floor. He broke his back, his neck, shattered his scull. I learned a few days later he had passed away. I left this company because not only where the workers practicing unsafe practices. So where the management. A friend of mine who stayed said that the plant was full of Osha inspectors the next day. The company was fined by Osha, and I heard they where being sued. Never practice unsafley on any forklift to meet an unreasonable quota. Your better off getting fired for your quota going down, or finding another job than risking your life, or risking permanent disabilities to keep up with un reasonable dangerous practices.

  • These order pickers have pallet locks on them to prevent pallet from tilting if you stand on them or load one side. Ultimately it's the operators responsibility, your supervisor isn't the one laying on a hospital bed, you are. So use common sense when operating lifts.

  • Climb into the rack…. that’s what everyone does. You have a harness for a reason it’ll catch you if you fall.

  • Metal Chanclas says:

    sounds like it was more on the worker's side at being at fault. That makeshift platform most likely served as holding space for the boxes being pulled rather than something to extend the reach of the order puller. ( 2:00 imagine trying to place a couple of boxes on that small forklift platform) Unless there wasnt a safety harness and cable present when she was operating the forklift, she was already risking her safety for not having one on to begin with.

  • Electronics For Fun says:

    ok so it sounds like the harness was the real culprit here. that makeshift platform wasn't any longer than one built for that machine, if anything it was shorter. if she could not make it from one side of the machine to the other then the harness was too short. the harness on our order pickers extend 6 feet and have a locking mechanism like a car seat belt. that way you have the most slack to safely do your work but if you do fall and suddenly jerk the harness then it locks and stops you from falling. our harnesses are long enough so that we can actually go into the racking if we have to. and while that platform might have been ideal there was nothing wrong with it. these machines have forks like a normal forklift that are made to be able to grab pallets and then can lock them in place so they don't slide off. and that's what a lot of people do, they just put a regular pallet on there and use that as their platform. so this platform is actually safer than most.

  • what is wrong with that company, didn't they know that there is fall protection harnesses that have a reel that allows the worker to move farther away from the cherry picker, and still be protected.

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