Recent Forklift Incidents Spell Danger, Death for Three, Highlighting Need for Safety Observation

On average, it’s estimated that a shocking one in four transport-related workplace accidents will involve a forklift truck. This makes the forklift one of the biggest safety hazards in any workplace where it is used.

So it’s not much of a surprise, then, that three forklift-related incidents have taken place across the country — and that two of them proved fatal for the individuals involved.

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, a Shelbyville, TN man was killed in while operating a forklift during a construction project in Brentwood. News 2 Nashville reported that Greg Rigney, 45, was unloading construction materials from a flatbed truck when the forklift he was operating tipped over, fatally pinning him underneath. Since Rigney had been working alone, there was no way for him to get help.

A teenage boy was killed in the north of Victoria, Australia after being involved in a forklift-related incident on November 15. According to The Age, the boy was 15 or 16 and was dead by the time police arrived.

In a non-fatal accident, a Star, ID man became trapped in the front area of a forklift that’s typically used for lifting items, while checking on a malfunction in the forklift, which he owned. The Idaho Statesman reported that the Nov. 22 accident resulted in injuries for the man, but that he was brought to the hospital in stable condition.

Because it is so common for forklift-related injury and death to take place, it’s highly essential for any workplace that uses forklifts to instruct personnel on the right steps to take in the event of an emergency.

One of the best ways to ensure workers don’t become injured or killed while working around forklifts is to prohibit workers from operating a forklift unsupervised. Having extra personnel on hand is vital to guarantee that the right emergency response steps are taken.

What are your thoughts on the frequency of accidents that take place around forklifts? Have any safety tips to share? Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment.


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