Forklift Fatality


What Happened?

On May 30, 2013 an employee was operating a fork lift while another employee was riding the lift truck’s forks during travel from the warehouse to the yard and back. After dropping off the concrete pipe in the yard, the employee rode the forklift again back to the warehouse. As the lift approached the gate the employee on the forks fell off and was ran over by the lift truck sustaining fatal injuries.

Contributing Factors

Although details were not provided in the event summary it is likely that this at-risk behavior happened in the past and was no coaching was provided.  When we fail to coach each other on unsafe behaviors, that behavior becomes the new “norm”.

What Can We Learn?


Questioning Attitude would have made both employees question their behavior and consider the worst thing that could happen. When individuals take at-risk behaviors they are not considering the potential consequences of their actions.


Overconfidence led both employees to disregard the risk of their behaviors.  Riding on the forks of the lift was most likely a common occurrence and had been performed several times without incident.

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?