On December 15, 2003, a metal fabrication shop owner died when a 4,000 pound steel base plate fell on him. While inside the shop building, the work crew of least three men, including the owner, fabricated a 10’x 20’ steel base plate to be used at a water treatment plant. The base plate was to house or serve as a bas anchor a large water pump. After welding connectors and channel iron beams to one side of the plate, the crew pushed the plate through a bay door with a forktruck to an outside area in back of the shop. The forktruck operator used the forks to lift one side of the plate. The owner then crawled headfirst underneath the plate to place blocks underneath the plate. While the owner was underneath the plate, the plate slipped off the forks of the forktruck, and the plate fell on the victim. He died at the scene due to multiple blunt force injuries.

To prevent occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:

Recommendation No. 1: Employers should provide and use adequate procedures and tools to perform jobs safely.

Recommendation No. 2: Business owners should follow best safety practices.

Recommendation No. 3: Employers/employees should be properly trained on the use of forktrucks.

Recommendation No. 4: No one should be positioned underneath the elevated load of a forklift.

Recommendation No. 5: Employers/employees should be trained in the proper methods to secure and lift loads when using a forklift to prevent the load from slipping or moving.

Recommendation No. 6: Employers should develop written safety procedures for all tasks and provide training for the procedures.

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