Forklift Driver Without OSHA Training Causes Fatal Accident

    OSHA Accident Expert

    This case involves a construction site manager that was working at a luxury apartment complex in California. At the time of the incident, the site manager was on the third floor of the building, which did not have windows yet. A forklift was used from the ground floor to lift up a toolbox to the manager through the window. The manager took a step forward, reached for the toolbox, and fell three stories to his death. The forklift driver was later cited for not being trained to properly operate a forklift. An expert in OSHA construction regulations and training standards was sought to opine on the case.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please discuss your background working in Construction/OSHA Safety? How long have you been practicing in this capacity?
    • 2. Should lift equipment be used in this manner? Please explain.

    Expert Witness Response E-008566

    I am a certified safety professional with 30+ years of experience working with clients in the construction industry. I earned my bachelor’s degree in safety studies and I have been supporting efforts to develop and maintain safe work sites and safe work practices throughout my career. I am routinely on active construction sites and have a sound understanding of the applicable OSHA regulations, industry consensus standards, and custom and practice in the industry. I have worked as a safety professional in a variety of capacities during my career, visiting thousands of job sites during that time. This work entails (but is not limited to) developing and delivering safety programs, reviewing operations, monitoring work practices, procedures, and controls, monitoring compliance with OSHA and governmental standards, and monitoring adherence to applicable industry consensus standards including ANSI, ISO, and applicable corporate policies. Forklifts can be used to deliver a wide variety of materials, tools, and equipment to elevated work areas. This must be accomplished in an organized and competent manner employing safe work practices and procedures. These practices and procedures are well established within the applicable OSHA standards, as well as industry-recognized consensus standards. I have served as an expert on numerous cases involving the use of lifting equipment and fall protection.

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