Local emphasis program targets forklift safety

News Story
- 27 Jun 2013 ( #622 ) - Boise, ID, United States
2 min read
The Boise area office of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a local emphasis safety program for forklift operations.

"This program was developed to address injuries and fatalities arising from employers' failure to comply with OSHA's rules pertaining to powered industrial trucks (PITs)," says an OSHA spokesperson. "The intent is to identify workplaces in Idaho where PIT-related hazards exist and to focus compliance assistance and enforcement resources as necessary to eliminate those hazards."

OSHA intends to begin conducting inspections soon.

Between 2006 and 2010, the area office conducted five forklift-related fatality investigations in Idaho and cited 83 entities for 142 violations of the PIT standard, including 93 of a serious nature.

Here are details of the major incidents:

* On 26 July 2006 in Idaho Falls, an employee climbed up on the frame of a forklift and, while standing between the mast and rollover protection, accidentally engaged the mast tilt level with his heel. The employee was pinned between the mast and rollover protection and was killed. A USD4,500 penalty was paid.

* On 25 March 2008 in Pocatello, an employee was walking back to his work area after taking a break and was killed. Apparently, he bent over to pick something up and was struck by the tynes of a forklift carrying a load of cardboard bales. A USD10,000 penalty was paid.

* On 11 April 2008 in Kendrick, an employee was operating a forklift for transportation purposes. Control of the forklift was lost, and the employee was thrown out of the cab. The forklift crushed and killed him. A USD2,100 penalty was paid.

* On 10 April 2010 in Boise, an employee was using a forklift to load pallets onto a delivery truck. The truck transmission was apparently in neutral and the parking brake was set, but no chocks or other means were used to prevent the truck from moving. While the employee was backing out of the truck, the truck rolled away from the dock and the forklift fell and pinned the employee on the ground. A USD15,000 penalty was paid.

* On 23 September 2010 in Eden, an employee was part of a crew replacing damaged potato cellar doors. A forklift and pallet were used to elevate the employee to reach the doors. The employee asked the forklift operator to move forward toward the door header. As the operator released the parking brake, he placed his foot on the accelerator causing the forklift to lurch forward and pinning the employee's neck between the backrest of the forklift and a door header. The employee died of a broken neck. A USD2,100 penalty was paid.

OSHA plans to conduct random inspections in selected agricultural and general industry operations in targeted industries such as sawmills, food processing and distribution facilities, warehouse operations, and garden and home supply retailers.
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Previously about:
Forklift operators get full safety drill News Story - 11 Jul 2013 - Ramstein, Germany - 1 min read
OSHA says firm failed to remove unsafe forklifts News Story - 17 Jan 2013 - Kenton, OH, United States - 1 min read
Forklift breaks sidewalk, plunges into hole News Story - 12 Jul 2012 - Springfield, MA, United States - 1 min read
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