Employee Severely Injured by Forklift

    forkliftThis case takes place in Delaware and involves an employee who was injured at a trade show by a forklift. When the trade show had ended and move out was underway – an member of the trade show organization was driving an very large fork lift for industrial use, without a spotter. The forklift driver drove over the employee’s foot, causing severe damage. The injured employee has required extensive surgery and will likely require a foot amputation.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. For events like the one described above, do you have specific safety guidelines which stipulate terms of use for large forklifts inside exhibit halls?
    • 2. Are there policies in place to protect exhibitors and other patrons during "move out,” as heavy equipment is being used to move fixtures?

    Expert Witness Response E-008456

    My company has produced events like the one in this case, and we have used Versa lifts of various sizes inside the halls to move heavy machinery. We do have training and safety guidelines for the operation of forklifts while loading, unloading, and assembling machinery on trade shows. We specifically publish that a forklift crew working in a booth shall consist of at least two individuals, those being the operator and the ground man. There are two general policies in place regarding operating any forklift around exhibitors, attendees, or other personnel. The first is that when it is required to operate forklifts near these type people, there will be a ground man present to keep the people clear of the equipment and direct the operator when it is safe to move the machine. The second general policy is that the operator will not operate a forklift with a large load which will restrict the operator’s view without a ground man assisting, nor will the operator lift any heavy piece high off the deck where it could possibly fall off of the forks if there any persons in the vicinity. Other more specific related rules have to do with who may operate the equipment and what the composition of the crew shall be.

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