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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200352664 - Employee Struck By Forklift & Suffocated On Chewing Tobacco

Accident: 200352664 -- Report ID: 0453710 -- Event Date: 09/20/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30572578009/21/20020131Bill Whaley (Dba) Whaley Farms

On September 20, 2002, Employee #1, a supervisor, was standing on the ground while directing the installation of a tarpaulin onto a cotton module truck. As he was doing this, an unmanned, 8,200 lb Yale diesel industrial truck began to advance on him from behind at approximately 2 mph. The industrial truck's forks were raised to a height of 30 in. and a 4 ft square oak pallet was slipped over them. The advance of the Yale truck was slow enough that Employee #1 turned before the pallet struck him in the lower abdomen. He fell face down on the advancing pallet and was pushed into a 21 in. wide gap between the underside of the bed of the module truck and the pallet. Employee #1 was crushed and wedged tightly enough between the top of the pallet and the lower portion of the module truck to stop the forward movement of the forklift. Rescue workers extricated Employee #1, but when they began to administer CPR, they found that the force of the impact and crushing had made him swallow a plug of Cannon Ball chewing tobacco, which had then become lodged in his lower trachea, just above the mediastinum. The CPR was unsuccessful and Employee #1 suffocated to death at the scene. Employee #1 had a 6 in. wide by 22 in. long bruise on his lower abdomen where he had been struck by the pallet.

Keywords: vehicle in gear, suffocated, work rules, caught between, crushed, industrial truck, struck by, unmanned

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 305725780 Fatality Asphyxia Truck drivers, light

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