Forklift tipover kills 21-year-old worker

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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