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Could Forklift Death Have Been Avoided?

profile_herbA worker was crushed while operating a forklift—and so far, there are more questions than answers.

CHARLOTTE, NC – INDUSTRIAL workers continue to face serious risks at work, a fact made tragically clear in the death of a worker at a recycling plant. The accident happened at the tail end of September and sparked a safety investigation.

“Anytime you’re working with heavy equipment, forklifts or chemicals there are serious risks,” said Herb Auger, an attorney with Auger & Auger law firm who works extensively on worker injury cases.

The accident occurred at the Source Recycling Company. A worker, whose name has not been released, was operating a forklift when it happened. Something caused the forklift to turn on its side, crushing the worker to death according to WSOC TV (retrieved 10.30.2014).

It’s not clear whether the worker was lifting or hauling a payload when the accident happened.

“Forklift operation is a notoriously dangerous job,” Auger said. “It requires not just extensive training, but careful adherence to safety regulations by the employer. Overloading a forklift can be disastrous.”

It’s not clear whether this forklift was overloaded or whether any safety rules were broken. The Occupational Safety and Health Division of the state Department of Labor has begun an investigation, which is standard procedure after a worker death.

“It’s sad because these investigations often turn up safety violations, meaning that worker deaths could have been prevented,” Auger said. “All it takes is an aggressive work quota or skipping some maintenance and the stage is set for a tragedy.”

Auger stressed that workers and their families do have options.

“It’s important to remember that the law provides protection and that you can hold employers accountable,” he said. “Companies won’t cut corners on safety if they know it’s going to cost them.”

The full story on the Source Recycling accident won’t be out until the investigation is complete, which could take months. But Auger says the family of the victim shouldn’t wait to act.

“The best thing to do is talk to a lawyer,” he said. “This is a devastating loss and you deserve answers.”

About Herb Auger:

Herbert W. Auger, Esquire is a Charlotte car accident lawyer with over 20 years of experience helping victims of auto accidents receive fair compensation. A founder of Auger & Auger law firm, Herb Auger believes in an aggressive results-oriented approach that maximizes the awards his clients receive. He can be contacted at:

Auger & Auger
717 S. Torrence Street
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28204

Posted In: In The News, Workers' Compensation

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