Worker Dies After Being Struck by Forklift, OSHA Cites Texas Company

Worker Dies After Being Struck by Forklift, OSHA Cites Texas Company

The agency proposed penalties of over $200,000 and issued citations for one willful and four serious violations.

A Texas lumber supplier is facing citations following the death of a worker who was struck by a forklift.

According to a news release, after operating and parking the forklift, the worker dropped the keys and searched for them. While looking, the worker was struck by the forklift, which had a makeshift brake instead of the original parking brake. OSHA found that the worker was not certified in forklift use yet was allowed to operate the vehicle. The agency requires forklift operators to be trained and certified before using the vehicle.

“A family, his friends and co-workers are left to mourn a young man whose life was cut short because his employer failed to follow safety requirements that would have prevented this tragedy,” said OSHA Area Director Kia McCullough in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the news release.

According to OSHA, Hixson Lumber Company LLC allegedly "failed to train the teen worker, left keys inside unsecured forklifts and did not make sure the forklift used by the teenager had a proper parking brake, working horn and backup alarm as required." OSHA issued citations for one willful and four serious violations and proposed penalties of $218,759. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just over 9,000 workers were injured from forklifts in 2017. That same year, 74 workers died from injuries involving forklifts.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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