Fatality: Forklift Turned Over

by Apr 22, 2021KV Share Public

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What Happened?

On October 16, 2017, an employee was assigned by one of the three foremen on-site to store the elevating work platform, but a forklift was in the way. Subsequently, the employee, a trained and experienced operator of forklifts, drove the forklift to move it out of the way. The employee drove fast with the forklifts raised about 30 inches (manufacturer recommends 6-8 inches), and made a sharp right hand turn where there was a drain in the concrete ground. The concrete was sloped about 3-4% around the drain. These factors caused the forklift to tip over. The operator did not wear the provided seat belt, fell out of the forklift and was crushed. The employee was pronounced dead by the job site emergency responders within minutes after the accident


Contributing Factors

The operator did not wear his seat belt.

The employee was driving with forklifts raised above the manufacturer’s recommended height.


What Can We Learn?


The employee was clearly Overconfident in driving the forklift as he was an experienced operator.

Time Pressure could have played a role as the forklift was in the way of getting his work done and he wanted to quickly move it to continue work.


The employee could have followed the Procedures by wearing his seat belt and driving with forklifts at or below the recommended height.

The employee could have used a Questioning Attitude and asked himself “what is the worst thing that could happen?”.


Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?

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