News Release No.: 2017-27 Date: April 17, 2017
Cal/OSHA Cites Building Supply Company for Fatal Forklift Accident
San Francisco—Cal/OSHA today cited Good View Roofing & Building Supply Corporation $62,320 for multiple serious accident-related safety violations following an investigation of a fatal forklift accident in San Francisco.
On November 21, 2016, a 60-year-old forklift operator was transferring building supplies from the company’s warehouse to a customer’s vehicle. When the forklift descended a sloped ramp, a bag of mortar mix fell off of the load and blocked the front right wheel. The operator reversed the forklift to free the bag of mortar and while doing so, turned the steering wheel so that the back wheel went over the edge of the ramp, tipping the five-ton forklift over. The worker attempted to jump out of the cab and was fatally crushed by the forklift.
“This incident could have been prevented had the employer effectively evaluated the workplace for hazards, which would have identified the unguarded edge of the ramp that exposed the forklift to tipping,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “The worker should have been properly trained to stay seated with the seatbelt fastened in the event of a tip over.”
The six violations cited in Cal/OSHA’s investigation included three classified as serious accident-related, one serious, one regulatory and one general. The serious accident-related violations were cited for the company’s failure to ensure:
The serious violation was cited for the employer’s failure to inspect and identify hazards in the workplace, provide written safety instruction on industrial trucks in a language readily understandable by all of the workers, and for failure to ensure that all affected workers comply with the forklift safety requirements at the worksite. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.
Forklift safety requirements are summarized on page 65 of Cal/OSHA’s Pocket Guide for the Construction Industry.
Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from safety and health hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their safety and health programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services. Cal/OSHA has also published a wealth of helpful guides for employers and workers.
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.
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The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. For general inquiries, contact DIR’s Communications Call Center at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.