March 5, 2015
Worker fatally pinned by forklift at Menards warehouse
OSHA cites 1 serious violation at facility operating as Midwest Manufacturing
Employer name: Menards Inc., 4777 Menard Drive, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Investigation site: Menards Inc., operating as Midwest Manufacturing, 4801 N. 264th Street, Valley, Nebraska
On Sept. 29, 2014, the U. S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Omaha Area Office initiated a fatality inspection after a 54-year-old forklift operator was fatally injured while moving trusses in a warehouse owned by home improvement store, Menards Inc.
Investigation findings: OSHA's investigation found the forklift operator placed a load of trusses in one location of the warehouse and was traveling to another area when the forklift veered towards a rack system and the forklift operator became pinned suffering fatal injuries. OSHA cited one serious safety violation for exposing workers to struck-by hazards in the facility.
In the past five years, 15 percent of all workplace fatalities investigated by OSHA in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, have involved workers being struck-by vehicles or objects. OSHA has a regional outreach initiative in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska to educate workers and their employers to prevent struck-by incidents, which can involve a vehicle such as a powered industrial truck striking an employee, or an employee pinned between the vehicle and a stationary object.
Menards, Inc. operates as Midwest Manufacturing and employs about 315 workers at the Valley location. Menards has about 13,000 employees nation-wide.
Proposed Penalties: $6,300
Quote: "This preventable tragedy demonstrates how quickly a routine workday can turn deadly," said Bonita Winingham, OSHA's area director in Omaha. "Employers must educate and train forklift operators and others working in warehouses to remove debris and other material from the path of forklifts. Struck-by hazards can come from above and below forklifts as well as from material storage racks and items being moved in the facility."
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Omaha Area Office at 402-553-0171.
Release Number: 15-138-KAN
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