August 5, 2016
Incident: Run over by forklift
Industry: Berry processing plant
Victim: Farm employee
An employee was walking across a lot when he was run over by a forklift that was backing up.
The employer owns and operates a farm and a berry processing plant that takes raw product and turns it into puree. The farm and the processing plant are on the same property.
How did it happen?
The forklift operator was unloading goods from a truck on a lot in front of the plant where product is normally unloaded. Meanwhile, an employee was walking across the lot to a break room to clock in for the start of his shift.
The forklift was moving backward because the load obscured the operator's forward visibility.
The employee thought he had safely passed the forklift and was 30 feet from the break room when the forklift suddenly turned to the left and struck him. He held on to the back of the forklift for a few feet until his foot got caught under the left wheel and he was dragged underneath.
Two other employees saw the forklift striking the employee and yelled at the operator to stop. By the time the forklift finally stopped, the employee was under it up to his waist. He had fractured both feet, both legs, and his pelvis.
1910.176(a) [or 437-004-0310(3)(b)]: Permanent aisles or passageways were not appropriately marked.
1910.178(n)(6) [or 437-004-3410(3)(a)(E)]: The forklift operator was not required to look in the direction of, and keep a clear view, of the path of travel.
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