FACEValue: Teen worker run over by forklift

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Case report: #15KY067*
Issued by: Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: Nov. 4, 2015

A 17-year-old worker and his 19-year-old co-worker were storing a rough terrain forklift in a parking lot at an agricultural distribution center. The 19-year-old was operating the forklift when he offered the younger worker a ride. The younger worker climbed onto the side step of the forklift, which was not designed to accommodate passengers. As they neared the lot, the younger worker volunteered to open the gate. Jumping from the forklift while it was moving, his foot caught in the back wheel guard, and he fell onto the dirt lot. Unaware that the younger worker had fallen, the operator continued driving until he realized the back left tire had rolled onto the victim. He immediately backed the forklift off him. The injured worker was transported by air to a major trauma center at 6:15 p.m. He died at 6:52 p.m.

To help prevent similar occurrences:

  • Never allow passengers to ride on a forklift unless it is specifically designed to accommodate them.
  • Employers should provide and enforce forklift operator safety training.
  • Employers should review regulations pertaining to safe operation of forklifts before allowing their use on the jobsite.

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