Forklift Amputation (KV112)


What Happened?

One evening while preparing to clock out for the day a veteran forklift operator was informed by his supervisor that there was a truck in the dock to be unloaded. Reluctantly the operator got on his forklift and sped to the dock. He quickly unloaded the truck and sped back to the office to turn in his paperwork and clock out.

As he pulled into the parking area he jumped off the truck with it still in motion, reaching for the parking brake as he exited the forklift. Unfortunately, his sleeve got caught on the controls causing him to miss the brake and place the truck back in drive. His leg from the calve down was pulled under the tire, crushed, and wrapped up in the wheel well causing him to lose his leg before getting free of the forklift.

Contributing Factors

Due to the operator’s rush to complete his task, he exited the moving forklift instead of first coming to a complete stop and engaging the parking brake.

What Can We Learn?


The employee could have utilized a Self Check to prepare to properly park the forklift and mitigate the risk for error.

The supervisor could have given the forklift operator a Peer Check when he observed the operator speeding away to quickly complete the task.


Time Pressure was present as the employee was in a hurry to complete the task as quickly as possible so he could clock out for the day and go home.

The operator demonstrated Overconfidence by rushing and ignoring the potential for error because he had been operating a forklift for many years.

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?