This case involves a man who was injured working in the warehouse of a major producer of commercial baking ingredients. At the time of the incident in question, the plaintiff was employed as a subcontractor at the warehouse facility, and was tasked with the installation of new lights on the warehouse ceiling. In order to access the roof, the plaintiff’s firm had erected scaffolding approximation 20 feet high off of the warehouse floor. The plaintiff had been working with a large impact drill, for which he had run a long extension cord down the scaffolding to a power source on the warehouse floor. At some point, the extension cord was run over by a forklift, pulling the plaintiff off of the scaffolding and down to the warehouse floor. As a result of the fall, the plaintiff suffered extensive and permanent injuries.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your experience working in warehouse safety.
- 2. What background do you have dealing with subcontractor protocols and forklift operations?
Expert Witness Response E-056993
I possess specific experience dealing with warehouse safety issues. As an occupational safety consultant, I have inspected numerous client facilities that include warehouses. Examples of the types of warehouses I have inspected include, but are not limited to: food, manufacturing, mechanical parts, chemicals, and fertilizer storage facilities. I also have specific background dealing with subcontractor protocols and forklift operations. Since 2005, I have been hired by major energy companies to audit their contractors and subcontractors. I’ve audited over 1,000 contractors in my career. With regard to forklift operations, I have specific experience with auditing forklift programs, developing written forklift programs, and training personnel in the safe use of forklifts.
Expert Witness Response E-094539
I have obtained my OSHA Authorized Trainer Certificate, and I am currently a instructor at a public technical college, an authorized OSHA Training Institute. At my safety consulting business, we provide forklift (both industrial and rough terrain) training and scaffold training (both for the worker and competent person). Whether it’s a warehouse or construction site, any person operating a forklift should be trained utilizing hands-on driver training, video training, powerpoint instruction, and testing. I would be curious to know if this employee met these OSHA requirements. For the last 25 years, my firm has provided training and testing to many operators. None of my clients have ever had an OSHA citation due to misuse of the equipment, nor have there been any accidents among the 45 businesses we represent.