A man that was part of a three-person crew attempting to load a 3,000-pound commercial oven onto a truck was crushed when the oven fell off a forklift.
The accident happened shortly after noon at the closed La Reina supermarket in Palm Springs Plaza at 3403 S. Congress Ave.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews were able to lift the oven off the man at about 2 p.m. and his body was transported to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s office.
As reported by The Palm Beach Post, fire rescue District Chief William Rowley said a high pressure air bag was used to lift the oven. The air bag, described as being as thin as an envelope, was small enough to fit under the oven and then was inflated to raise the oven between 8 and 10 inches off the ground.
Forklifts are a staple in the workplace. While they are incredibly useful for moving heavy loads, stacking loads and reaching things, they can also be very dangerous and are the cause of many Injury and Workers compensation claims.
OSHA estimates forklifts cause about 85 fatal accidents per year; 34,900 accidents result in serious injury; and 61,800 are classified as non-serious. According to the Industrial Truck Association, there are about 855,900 forklifts in the U.S. Therefore, over 11% of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident each year (assuming only one accident per forklift).
To help reduce the possibility of being injured, it’s important to understand where and how these accidents occur.
Fatal forklift accident causes:
Fatal Accident Type
Crushed by vehicle tipping over 42%
Crushed between vehicle and a surface 25%
Crushed between two vehicles 11%
Struck or run over by a forklift 10%
Struck by falling material 8%
Fall from platform on the forks 4%
Workers injured in forklift accidents have a claim for Workers Compensation benefits. However, most Forklift accidents also involve a claim for negligence against a third party or a claim for Products Liability.
The claims are not mutually exclusive, and as a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, I often bring both claims for my clients. The largest benefit of bringing a claim for negligence is that the injured worker can seek damages for Pain and Suffering, Loss of Enjoyment of Life, Mental Anguish and Future Loss of Earning Capacity. These elements of damages are not available under our antiquated Workers Compensation System.