Warehouse workers in New Jersey and throughout the country should be trained on forklifts if they are driving or working around them. They should also have the right safety and fall protection equipment to allow them to be lifted to high shelves. These were among the conclusions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after investigating a warehouse accident in which a worker was killed.
The 33-year-old man was being lifted on a pallet placed on a forklift to a shelf when he fell 7 feet to a concrete floor. He died in a hospital several days later. When OSHA investigated the accident, it identified several causes and made a number of recommendations to prevent similar incidents from happening.
Manufacturer instructions generally prohibit forklifts from being used to lift people, and according to OSHA, the employer should have enforced this. The employees could have been provided with a personnel lifting platform that had a guardrail. This can be used with a forklift if the manufacturer gives written approval. The workers could also have used a high-lift order picker with a personal fall arrest system. Workers should also be aware that if they are concerned about safety in their workplaces, they can make a confidential report to OSHA.
Workers’ compensation protects most workers who suffer a job injury. It is designed to cover a worker’s medical expenses and in some cases provide a portion of lost income. However, in some cases, an employer might try to discourage a worker from applying, or a worker’s claim may be denied. A claim that involves an injury from a fall might be more straightforward than one that occurs because of repetitive strain over a long period of time. People who are injured at work or who become ill because of hazards in the workplace might want to talk to an attorney about filing a claim for benefits.