As this case shows, when it comes to forklifts even the most experienced person can suffer a fatal incident.
Bill Matthews, a longtime businessman in Chandler, OK, was crushed to death by an 11,000-pound forklift.
Matthews, 64, died at his business, Lincoln County Farm Center.
According to police, Matthews had put a fertilizer sack on the forks and drove up to a dispenser stack.
After he set the parking brake and got off the forklift, it started to roll backward.
When Matthews jumped back on the forklift, it rolled over and pinned him underneath.
Police found Matthews lying beneath the forklift with the top bar of the roll cage on his head.
OSHA is investigating.
You can use this story or others in our forklift section to discuss hazards with employees.
Forklift operators should follow these precautions:
- Always try to find a level surface to park on.
- Lower forks, or the forklift attachment, when parking.
- Put the gear into neutral.
- Make sure the wheels are straight.
- Set the parking brake.
- Turn off the engine before dismounting the forklift.
- Don’t jump from an overturning, sit-down forklift. Stay with the truck, bracing yourself firmly and leaning in the opposite direction that the truck is falling.
- Inspect forklifts daily, as required by OSHA.
- Know whether or not your forklift has an automatic parking brake that sets when there is no weight on the seat (when the operator leaves the forklift).