Live from Safety 2017

Cal/OSHA Cites Building Supply Company in Forklift Fatality

A 60-year-old forklift operator died Nov. 21, 2016, while transferring building supplies from the company's warehouse to a customer's vehicle.

Cal/OSHA on April17 cited Good View Roofing & Building Supply Corporation, fining the company $62,320, for multiple serious safety violations in connection with a fatal forklift accident in San Francisco.

It occurred on Nov. 21, 2016. A 60-year-old forklift operator was transferring building supplies from the company's warehouse to a customer's vehicle. When the forklift descended a sloped ramp, a bag of mortar mix fell off the load and blocked the front right wheel. The operator reversed the forklift to free the bag of mortar and while doing so, turned the steering wheel so that the back wheel went over the edge of the ramp, tipping over the five-ton forklift. The worker tried jump out from the cab and was fatally crushed by the forklift, according to the agency.

"This incident could have been prevented had the employer effectively evaluated the workplace for hazards, which would have identified the unguarded edge of the ramp that exposed the forklift to tipping," said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. "The worker should have been properly trained to stay seated with the seat belt fastened in the event of a tip over."

Three of the six violations cited in Cal/OSHA;s investigation are classified as serious accident-related, one as serious, one regulatory and one general. The serious accident-related violations were cited for the company's failure to ensure:

  • proper use of a forklift seat belt
  • the forklift operator is certified to operate the vehicle safely
  • that industrial ramps have at least an 8-inch curb or equivalent installed along the open edges to prevent the wheels of industrial trucks from running off the ramp

The agency said the serious violation was cited for failure to inspect and identify hazards in the workplace, provide written safety instruction on industrial trucks in a language readily understandable by all workers, or to ensure that all affected workers comply with the forklift safety requirements at the work site.

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