A worker at an Abercrombie & Fitch distribution center was killed when he crashed his forklift into another forklift at the distribution center according to a recent news article form the Columbus Dispatch. Authorities say worker was in his mid to late 40s. They have not released the name of employee who was killed on the job, so his family could be notified first.
Immediately after the forklift collision, someone at the distribution center called 911, and first responders arrived at the warehouse. This particular facility was just across the street from the company’s headquarters, so corporate executives were also on site following the worker’s death.
EMTs did what they could to assist worker, and transported him to a shock trauma center located nearby, but he was pronounced dead soon at some point later. The company originally reported the tragic accident was one involving serious personal injury to an employee, but they later amended their statement when it was learned employee did not survive his serious injuries. They also said this clearly appears to be accident and that they were very saddened by the loss of their employee after the events at their distribution center. The operator of the other forklift involved in the deadly crash was apparently not injured in the horrific ordeal.
As is the case with any fatal workplace accident, the United State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be conducting a full investigation into the cause of the forklift accident. They will be working with local police as part of their investigation. Once they know the details of exactly how the accident occurred, OSHA will likely be publically releasing a report of their findings, once the investigation is complete. If OSHA determines there were safety violations that contributed to the death of worker, they can fine the employer and require employer to take remedial measures.
As our Charlotte workers’ compensation benefits attorneys have learned on many previous cases, one of the common issues for OSHA is whether the company was on notice that this type of accident was likely to occur. While it is not an everyday event, there are forklift accidents that occur across the country on a somewhat regular basis. If the industry was made aware of a certain dangerous condition or series of conditions that made such an accident more likely, OSHA may be concerned if employer did not use this knowledge to make corrections to prevent such an accident from occurring. This is especially true if the same or similar type of accident occurred on the same jobsite in the past or on another jobsite owned by the same employer. It should be noted, in this case involving Abercrombie & Fitch, there has been no finding as of this time that employer was in any way negligent in causing this fatal on-the-job accident. It has also not been found that either of the two forklift drivers involved in the accident were in any way responsible for the fatal workplace accident.
While it is always a devastating loss for family members of a worker killed on the job, at least it will not be necessary to prove any fault on behalf of employer in order to collect workers’ compensation damages, as it is a no-fault system.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
Abercrombie & Fitch worker killed in forklift accident, October 30, 2015, The Columbus Dispatch, by Theodore Decker
More Blog Entries:
Wilkes v. Greenville – On-the-Job Car Accident, Oct. 16, 2015, Anderson Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog