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Worker struck and killed by forklift

On December 3, 2012, in Safety News Alert, by admin

OSHA is investigating a fatality in which a worker at a marine terminal was struck by a forklift carrying a large load.

Paula Bellamy was working as a “slinger,” someone who guides a crane operator, for Ceres Marine Terminals in Portsmouth, VA.

Bellamy was standing on a pier and using a radio to guide a crane operator when a forklift driver nearby picked up steel bins.

Police say the forklift driver’s vision was obstructed by the bins carried on the front of the vehicle. As he moved the forklift forward, he struck Bellamy.

She was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

OSHA requires forklift drivers to travel in reverse if the load obstructs forward view.

This incident serves as a good reminder to workers why the OSHA rule exists.

For more on OSHA’s powered industrial truck standards, click here.

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When two separate safety problems combine, the result too often is fatal.

A 30-year-old Florida construction worker was killed in a forklift mishap.

Naples Police say Christian Flores died while making a delivery of roofing tiles. Flores worked for J&A Loading of Bonita Springs, FL.

Police say he was walking between a moving forklift and the delivery truck when he was run over.

Published reports say the cause of the fatality was both faulty equipment — a broken mirror and reverse beeper — and lack of experience and training for the forklift operator.

It’s essential for forklift operators to have a clear view of their path while backing up.

OSHA is investigating.

Flores had a wife, 4-year-old daughter and an infant son in Mexico. He came to the U.S. legally to work to raise money for his family.


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OSHA is investigating the death of a young worker due to a forklift tipover at a facility in Denton, TX. The incident provides a reminder for workers of one thing not to do if a forklift they’re operating starts to overturn.

The tipover at United Commercial Cast Stone killed the forklift driver, Jose Rivera, 21.

Police say Rivera had dropped off a pallet in the parking lot of the business and as he was backing away, a wheel got stuck in a pothole.

As Rivera tried to get the forklift out of the pothole, he raised the forks and the machine’s weight shifted, causing it to tip.

Rivera tried to jump from the forklift but was caught underneath it.

OSHA recommends for tipovers on sit-down counterbalanced trucks, drivers should:

  • Stay in the forklift and not jump
  • Hold tight to the steering wheel.
  • Brace their feet.
  • Lean away from the impact, and
  • Lean forward.

Note: Tipover procedures for other types of forklifts may vary. For example operators of stand-up forklifts with rear-entry access should step backwards off the forklift if a tipover occurs.

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