Forklift Injury Brings Up Serious Questions

Posted by: admin on August 8, 2012


Forklif loading machinery

Large forklift loading heavy machinery on to a truck.

This past week in Springfield, Massachusetts, a maintenance worker was seriously injured while tending to flowers in front of a Springfield building.

The unidentified worker was doing some public service work, using a forklift on a city sidewalk to dig up flower beds along the streets. Without warning, the forklift collapsed and fell through the sidewalk to a delivery chute below. Charges may be filed in the case, and municipal officials are looking into the worker’s forklift certification status and other factors.

It’s About More than Forklift Certification

Apparently the worker didn’t realize that Springfield’s sidewalks are built on top of loose grating that is several decades old. When weight is applied to the grating, it’s possible for whatever’s above to fall into the tunneled-out delivery chutes below. Forklift operations best practices dictate an understanding of the surface you’re driving the forklift on and any other environmental hazards present before operating the machine. In this case, operating heavy machinery without the proper on site hazard recognition could have cost the MassMutual employee his life.

Know Where You Run

Part of any job scope is knowing the landscape. If MassMutual acquired the proper permits to run the forklift, the employee in question may not be injured right now. Driver training and certification is OSHA mandated, and knowing the terrain is a major part of ensuring safety for employees of any kind.

When it comes to operator certification, it’s extremely important for employees to attain the proper licensure – and if necessary, city plans that will determine the lay of the land and give operators an idea of what they’re in for.


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