Lorry Driver crushed by dropped load

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Average: 5 (2 votes)
Alert ID: 
Description of Task: 

Lorry Driver crushed by dropped load.

A forklift operator was assigned the task of removing a tubular tool weighing 0.9 ton from a backload delivery. As the tubular was being lifted off the trailer, it fell off the forks back onto the trailer from a height of approx. 4 feet. As the tubular fell, the lorry driver delivering the backload was trapped under the tubular and suffered injuries to his left leg, trunk and head. The tubular tool was being lifted by a 16 ton forklift with clamp attachment. The close proximity of the tubular to the container and basket situated directly behind it prevented the use of the clamp attachment to secure the tool to the forks. The lack of clearance space meant that the tubular was positioned close to the tips of the forks prior to falling.

Lessons Identified: 

The need for a collaborative approach between haulage contractors, forklift operators and facility owners to ensure that lifting operations are effectively managed and enforcement of site rules is consistent.

The need to identify and designate a safe place where haulage drivers can wait during all loading and/or unloading operations.

All forklift operators should have a fundamental understanding that due to the complexities of some lifts they might experience, that the recommended practices may need to be reviewed to ensure that a safe lifting operation can take place;


Conduct review of all site arrangements for providing a safe location for lorry/vehicle drivers and allocate sufficient resources to implement safe locations at facilities.

Review routine forklift operation risk assessments and ensure they clearly define lorry driver safe location and action to take if the lorry driver leaves area.

Produce FLT Driver Accountability / Stop Work Authorisation cards signed by UK VP for distribution to FLT drivers.

Review the training and competency programs in place for all FLT drivers to determine whether it addresses complexities of some site specific operations, and decision making of drivers when faced with unexpected non-routine lifts.

Hold engagement sessions with UK Facility FLT Drivers. These sessions will incorporate the communication of findings from this incident as well re-communication and re-emphasis of the risk assessment and other associated documents such as lift plans to all personnel involved with lifting operations.


Contact Details: 
Step Change in Safety
Specific Equipment: 

Forklift Truck

Incident consequence: 
Lifting, crane, rigging, deck operations
Any Location Type
Cause of accident or incident: 
Moving, flying or falling object


How much communication was held between the FLT driver and the IP? A small bit of understanding and a slight 'bonding' between the parties may have prevented this incident