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Worker killed after falling from forklift pallet

Forklift accidents are fairly common in industrial and construction situations, but there are many cases where they could be avoided. For example, if the forklift is inspected at the beginning of each shift, it would be easy to tell if it was being worn down or if rust had eaten through any important parts. Taking just a little time to review the state of the equipment can make a huge difference in how the machinery works and can save lives.

A worker fell from the end of a forklift in Pequannock, according to a report from Nov. 22, resulting in his death. The 21-year-old man had been standing on a wooden pallet on a forklift when the fork end detached due to an apparent mechanical failure. That resulted in the man falling 20 to 30 feet at the construction zone as he was being lowered by the forklift operator.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stated that the forklift was being used inappropriately at the time of the accident. The company, GK Brothers Construction, was previously cited for safety violations for workplace falls over the course of the last five years and now faces another investigation by OSHA.

Fatal accidents like this one exemplify the importance of maintaining equipment and properly training employees on safe work practices. For those who are hurt, there is workers' compensation coverage to help with medical expenses and lost wages. For those who lose a loved one, workers' compensation may provide death benefits. If the worker was an independent contractor, other legal options may need to be exercised.

Source:, "Company in fatal forklift accident has history of safety violations," Justin Zaremba, Nov. 22, 2016

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