At Menards home improvement store in Burnsville, Minnesota, a worker was killed when a forklift fell on top of him, Valley News Live reports.
According to witnesses, Alec Saunders, 27, was attempting to move a stack of two-by-fours when the forklift began to tip over. He tried to jump off the falling forklift, the witnesses add, which resulted in the heavy equipment landing on top of him.
Officials say Saunders died of injuries from blunt force to the chest.
The accident, which happened last Friday around 8:56 a.m., was described as a “forklift mishap” by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
WEAU 13 News reported that Menards, Inc. gave the following statement regarding Saunders’ death:
“We’re experiencing a great sense of loss due to the unfortunate passing of our fellow teammate, Alec Saunders. We’re devastated and trying to deal with this situation the best we can because Alec was a well-respected member of our family. Due to an ongoing investigation by OSHA, we’re unable to comment further about this unfortunate accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Alec and his family at this time.”
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established standards that businesses must follow in the operation of powered industrial trucks, or forklifts. These standards are designed to ensure worker safety when operating or working around the heavy equipment.
Unfortunately, forklift accidents are an all-too common occurrence on job sites.
Recently, in another tragic forklift accident, a San Francisco building supply company was ordered to pay a $62,000 fine for several safety violations that OSHA determined led to the death of a worker last November.
In that incident, a worker named Ruan Qiang was using a forklift to move a load of building supplies from the warehouse of Good View Roofing & Building Supply Co., where he worked, to a customer’s car. When the vehicle’s wheel bumped off the ramp Qiang was descending, the forklift began to flip over. Qiang tried to jump out of the vehicle, but the forklift fell on top of him, crushing him.
According to OSHA records, 4,836 occupational fatalities occurred in 2015, an average rate of 13 deaths per day. In many cases, the death could have been prevented if the employer followed safety rules. If a death occurs because of company safety violations, an attorney at Beasley Allen would like to help. Call for a free consultation regarding justice for injury or death occurring on the job.