We had an accident last night

- 28 Apr 2022 ( #1074 )
2 min read

“We had an accident today!
Can you get us some “Backbones” shipped overnight?”

Request made by yet another customer.


True story – July 2021.

The Backbone® from Lakeport Metalcraft Inc.
The Backbone® from Lakeport Metalcraft Inc.


The “accident” was a stand-up forklift underride. It might have involved a serious injury, or a fatality, or the customer may have been lucky, and only suffered a fright. They didn’t share details… But they immediately refused to operate their reach trucks/stand-up forklifts without “The Backbones” to protect their operators.

Like insurance, or a seatbelt, or a helmet, nobody needs “The Backbone” until they do. And then, it’s too late. Admittedly, underride accidents are rare. But when they do happen, they almost always cause catastrophic harm and damage. The US National Safety Council calculated the costs of work-related injuries:

  • $1,220,000 per death
  • $42,000 per medically consulted injury

Source: Work Injury Costs - Injury Facts (nsc.org)


These estimates reflect the total cost to society, not just the employers. But let’s assume that 25% of these costs are yours. Can your business afford it?

There are reputational costs to consider.

  • Customers avoid doing business with companies that have poor safety records. Good luck bidding on contracts.
  • People avoid working for companies with poor safety records. Good luck recruiting.
  • Employees mistrust employers who fail to make safety a priority.
  • Anxious employees are less productive employees.


Most importantly, consider the impact on the affected employee, the employee’s family, and friends. A critical injury or death irrevocably changes lives – for the worse.

Do YOU need “The Backbone”?

If you use stand up forklifts and reach trucks around racking, where there’s the possibility of underride, the answer is “Yes”.

  • Talk to your operators. Are they confident operating a stand-up forklift without a rear guard?
  • Talk to your safety experts and engineers. Have them conduct a safety audit. A major automotive company did just that and determined that every reach truck in their fleet must have “The Backbone”.


By the way, we’ll still gladly ship you Backbones, overnight, after an accident.

But we’d much rather ship them before.



For more information, contact:


Norm Nopper, President
Lakeport Metalcraft Inc.
Manufacturer of The Backbone® Safety Bar for Reach Trucks

Direct Line: +1 416-587-5809
Send an email

Countdown to IMHX
Tech Summit returns
Safety Show speakers named
Helsinki, Finland Kalmar has landed a significant order from Yilport Holding Inc. for a total of 27 new Kalmar machines: 20 Eco reachstackers, four empty container handlers and three forklifts. Deliveries...

In the Virtual Expo

EIKTO Lithium Traction Battery
Our Lithium Traction Batteries are used for New Trucks and Lead-Acid Replacements. Lithium Cells are certified according to UL2580 standard. We are now looking for partners in North America!
Leipzig, Germany Jungheinrich has delivered its 100,000th truck with a lithium-ion battery. The ETV 216i reach truck was delivered as part of an order of 16 identical trucks to the Amazon...
Carlisle, PA, United States A worker has been killed in a forklift crash at an Amazon warehouse in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. According to the Cumberland County coroner, Alex Carrillo, 22, died at Penn State...

In the Virtual Expo

APV EASI-GRIP Restraint System
A new concept in Occupant Safety Restraint - for industrial, off highway, GSE, construction, and agricultural applications. Encourages seatbelt use, easy fit to operator seat, and OH&S compatible.
Crooklands, United Kingdom Mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) rental markets have continued to recover strongly after the pandemic in 2021 and 2022, despite clouds on the horizon caused by global uncertainty around...
Leipzig, Germany Jungheinrich has delivered its 100,000th truck with a lithium-ion battery. The ETV 216i reach truck was delivered as part of an order of 16 identical trucks to the Amazon...

In the Virtual Expo

Cat® NSR12-20N2(I) stand-in stacker range
Cat Lift Trucks' new NSR12-20N2(I) stand-in stacker range - the smart alternative for stacking up to 7 metres, horizontal transport over long and short distances, and order picking.

In the Discussion Forums