In this incident posted by “Twowheel Drone,” a 70 year old man walking up a ramp is hit from behind and dragged by a forklift operator coming up the same ramp—while his view is blocked by his load. This demonstrates why visibility in the direction of travel is so important.
"Embrace Safety" offers another example why operating a forklift with the load blocking your view is so dangerous, especially with pedestrians around. This "struck-by" happens quickly.
Both the operator and the pedestrian in this incident posted by Loric Vilesilencer were careless. The operator was going full speed with pedestrians around and this particular victim might as well have been wearing blinders.
Distance Doesn't ProtectIn this tragic fatality posted by ffts21NEWS, a truck driver tries to escape his cab when he sees a dropped container about to fall on it. The tragedy is he could have survived by staying put. The lesson is, don't judge hazards by your relative proximity to a forklift. In this case, the victim was nowhere near the vehicle that dropped its load.
Forklift Drama in the Courtroom
This animation from Trial Exhibits, Inc., demonstrates one of the most common reasons forklifts collide with humans: blind and deaf corners. Forklift operators must sound horns in such situations, and workers on foot must always be aware of their surroundings.
Forklifts are deceptively fast. In this footage posted by WatchSequrityCams, the pedestrian obviously sees the oncoming forklift and thinks he can get out of the way. He was wrong.
Back to Back Oblivious
Forklifts are most often driven in reverse because the load would obstruct the operator’s view. But as seen in this post from Rajesh Rai, that practice didn’t help this pedestrian. Both the forklift operator and the victim he struck were oblivious to each other.
OSHA says these incidents are one of the leading causes of injury to workers. It has investigated 37 cases in the past six years in the Kansas City Region alone. Why pick on KC? That was the site of one of the more recent and most preventable.
The company in question is Werner Construction Inc. OSHA cited it for three safety violations after investigating how a maintenance worker was fatally injured by a front-end loader. This worker became pinned between the loader and a semitrailer. The 35-year-old full-time employee died of his injuries on Sept. 14, 2013.
Werner's other violations involved operating a front end loader without servicing its safety features and failing to have someone adequately trained to administer first-aid when medical treatment was not near the workplace. The company also failed to conduct a workplace hazard assessment for personal protective equipment.
I say the company should have been sensitized to such hazards because someone else died there in 2009 in an incident involving a paving machine.
We covered a struck-by fatality once before--one that made us witnesses to its trauma. A security camera captured the incident, and we posted it so that other employers would share it with their organizations. Forklift trainers frequently use these videos to get their lessons across. It's an effective way to remind operators why they must do certain things while operating their forklifts.
This gallery of videos is dedicated to that effort.
View MH&L's other video galleries: