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JICOSH Home > Case Studies > Case No.53
Case No.53

Fatal injury caused by fall of empty pallets being stacked by forklift

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[Description of the Accident]

This accident occurred during work to stack pallets in a warehouse. As pallets were piled too high, the upper part of the stack fell down.

The victim was trying to pile up 60 pallets (the size of one pallet: 1.4m in width 1.1m in length 0.13m in height; weight of about 22kg; made by wood; a total of 7.8m in height) in a corner of a warehouse by lifting them in two loads (30 pallets each) using a forklift.

When the victim tried to pull the prongs of the fork from the stack after setting the second load on the top of the first, the upper pallets moved and fell over the head guard, fatally crushing the victim who had jumped off the driver's seat and was trying to escape.

[Causes supposed]

1. The storage site and stacking method were not appropriate.

2. The load of pallets was too heavy and high for the fork. As 30 pallets (3.9m in height) were loaded at a time, the load became unstable.

3. The victim carried out unsafe work alone.

[Type of business] Cargo handling and transportation
[Caused by] Forklift
[Type of accident] Fall
[Number of fatalities] One fatality