Those who work in Arizona's many factories and warehouses know that a forklift is a common piece of factory equipment that helps the facility run smoothly and efficiently. However, particularly, when an operator is either careless or not properly trained, forklifts can be the cause of serious factory accidents that may, in some cases, prove fatal.
An accident involving a forklift at a John Deere facility in another state took the life of one of the factory's supervisors recently. While the supervisor was performing his duty on third shift, he was hit by a forklift. The man died after a brief stay at a nearby hospital.
Details are unavailable as to what led up to this accident and fatal workplace injury. To its credit, John Deere has been supportive of the employee and his family. Reports say that someone from the corporation had remained with the family at the hospital after the accident.
Although they cannot travel nearly as quickly as cars, forklifts are still heavy machines that can cause a lot of damage to anything or anyone it hits. Moreover, factories use forklifts to carry very heavy loads that often must be retrieved from high places. Without proper care, these loads can fall or can crush an unwary co-worker who is passing by. Finally, forklifts are awkward vehicles, highly prone to tipping over.
For these reasons, it is imperative that employers ensure that those who operate a forklift know how to do so safely. All employees need to know how best to stay out of the way of a forklift while it is being operated.
As for this man's family, they likely can collect workers' compensation benefits. In cases where a worker dies from his or her workplace injuries, workers' compensation will often reimburse a grieving family for medical and funeral expenses, and for lost income.
Source: Waterloo Cedar Valley Courier, "UPDATE: Deere worker hurt in forklift accident has died," June 28, 2013.