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Forklift accidents account for injuries at many workplaces

Used at companies across the nation, forklifts play an important role in moving pallets loaded with everything from construction equipment and building supplies to books and consumer goods. Accidents involving these powerful machines can result in serious injury or even a workplace death.

When an accident is so severe that it causes a death, family of the worker may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation death benefits.

Earlier this week a tragic forklift accident claimed the life of a worker at a Weyerhaeuser plant in North Carolina. He was not a new member of the crew, but had worked at the plant for almost eight years. The lumber mill where the 54-year-old man worker remained closed a day after the accident. It was unclear exactly what caused the fatal accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has already started an investigation into the cause. A 2009 inspection at the plant resulted in four serious violations, but it is not known whether they related to forklift operations.

Often these types of accidents occur when a forklift tips over or falls on an individual during maintenance or repair. Falling from a platform or pallet suspended high in the air is another cause of some accidents. A forklift operator might also run into another worker while backing or maneuvering to pick up a pallet.

When the unthinkable happens and a loved one dies in a workplace accident, time may seem to stand still. Questions about how you will continue to support your family are often common. Contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to learn what benefits may be available.

Source:, "Man killed in forklift accident at Weyerhaeuser plant," August 4, 2014.

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