Another Forklift Death Highlights Major Workplace Hazard

July 2nd, 2015 by Editor

The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating the death of a forklift driver at a lumber company.

Steven Dolgas, 55, was killed on Monday when his forklift backed over him at the Jordan-Holman Lumber Co. in Granite Falls, N.C., according to the Lenoir News-Topic. He had worked there since 1984, Granite Falls Police Chief Ritch Bolick told the newspaper.

Bolick said there were no witnesses, adding that it’s unclear why Dolgas was out of his forklift or how it backed over him.

An official with the N.C. Department of Labor told the News-Topic it could take up to six months to complete an investigation.

Forklifts are among the most dangerous workplace hazards, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which show that a forklift-related fatality occurs in the U.S. every three to four days in the U.S., with somewhere between 80 to 100 deaths per year.

Forklifts also accounted for the most OSHA safety citations – 71 — from January 2011 to March 2014, according to Regina McMichael of The Learning Factory, who has hosted online safety courses for the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA).

In April, Quanex Building Products technical service manager Tim Harris died after a heavy rack of vinyl window framing fell off a forklift and struck him during his visit to the Avanti Industries plant in Glendale, Ariz., according to a police report about the incident obtained by DWM. The rack of vinyl was estimated to weigh more than 3,000 pounds, according to the report.

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