An investigation is underway to determine why a 33-year-old man was fatally injured while working in a Maryland distribution center. According to The Baltimore Sun, the fatal accident occurred in the 500 block of Advantage Avenue in the Perryman industrial area near Aberdeen. Officials say the Forest Hill man was operating a forklift when he was knocked to the ground by another forklift. The worker fell about 20 feet and was pronounced dead at the scene. Foul play is not suspected but an investigation is underway by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about 100 people are killed and another 20,000 are seriously injured in forklift-related incidents each year. Here are a few of the most deadly forklift dangers:
- Turnovers: Forklifts can flip over easily when turning while backing down an incline, when used near loading docks or when they are loaded unevenly. Drivers should be taught to slow down on wet surfaces, use caution on ramps, and to tilt the load backward only enough to stabilize the load.
- Forklift collisions: Operators are not the only ones hurt in forklift accidents. Nearby workers can get struck, crushed, and pinned by forklifts as well. Operators must be aware of their surroundings at all times and workers should know to keep their distance from forklifts that are carrying heavy loads. Forklifts are large and heavy and victims can easily get crushed.
- Load-carrying hazards: Unstable loads can cause a forklift to tip over. When a heavy load is being carried too high, it could cause issues as well.
- Dangerous work environments: Forklifts are not all-terrain vehicles. They need a clear, even path to operate effectively. When there are slippery floors, gravel paths, poor lighting, and debris in the way, it could spell disaster for the operator.
If you have lost a loved one in a Maryland workplace accident, please research your legal options right away. Financial support may be available for your tragic losses. Workers’ compensation insurance does cover death benefits and in some tragic accidents, there are additional legal options available including civil litigation. Please contact an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney for more information.