Negligent Forklift Operation Causes Severe Workplace Injury


Forklift ExpertThis case involves an industrial worker who was standing on a ground loading trailer helping to load the flatbed with long pieces of PVC pipe. The pipes were being transported to the trailer by a front end loader with forks. Several pipes were positioned on the forks hovering over the pipes already on the trailer. The worker motioned and yelled for the operator to stop so he could retrieve straps to tie down the hovering pipes. When his back was turned to the loader, the operator dropped the load which rolled into plaintiff’s back and propelled him off the trailer. The plaintiff suffered significant arm and shoulder injuries as a result of the incident. An expert in forklift operation was sought to review the case and opine on the safety standards of the industry.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience in forklift operations and training.
  • 2. What safety protocols should be in place to prevent accidents like the one in this case from occurring?

Expert Witness Response E-042750

I have extensive experience operating forklift trucks as well as training operators. I am also a member of the ANSI/ITSDF B56.1 committee (Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks). Safety protocols should include stabilizing the load, keeping a clear view of your travel path, training in the tasks for which the truck is to be operated, and certifying that the training has been completed, among others. I have worked on a similar case that involved a pedestrian and the negligent operation of a forklift.

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