Blog Post #644 – Forklift Tipover Claims One

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A young worker was killed in a forklift rollover incident on June 12, 2012.

Shortly before 8:30 am, 19-year-old Herve Bernhard, an employee of Design Built Mechanical Inc., in Charla New Brunswick, was fatally injured when a forklift fell on him, Fidele Cormier, Assistant regional Director for WorkSafeNB’s northeast region.

Sergeant Alain Tremblay, a spokesperson for the Belledune detachment of the RCMP confirms the worker had already succumbed to his injuries before police and paramedics arrived. Sgt. Tremblay says it is believed the worker was caught underneath the machine, which tipped over after colliding with another forklift in the storage yard behind the company’s building.

The RCMP released the scene to WorkSafeNB, but continues to assist with the investigation. No compliance orders have been issued, Cormier says.

My opinion

CSA standard B335-15, is the Canadian standard for forklift training, inspection and maintenance. All companies in Canada should ensure full compliance with B335-15.

The only way the worker could be caught underneath the forklift after a tip-over event was to be thrown from the vehicle because he/she was not wearing a seatbelt. The restraint system and overhead guard are protective devices BUT if they are not being used, then the employees are at risk. The employer and/or the supervisor should have ensured that the worker WAS wearing the seatbelt and training was kept up to date.

Training is to be every 3 years with an internal refresher every 18 months. If the CSA standard had been adhered to then this story would not have been written.

In Ontario, we ensure that the worker receives all the information, instruction AND supervision for his/her protection. Design Built Mechanical could have saved everyone a lot of trouble if they had worried about employee safety and ensured adequate training.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Forklift Certification’, ‘Supervisor and Health and Safety Law’ and ‘Forklift Re-Certification’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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