• May 12, 2017

Customer Injured in Cornelius, OR, Forklift Accident at Papé Machinery

Cornelius, OR -- May 11, 2017, a person was seriously injured as the result of an accident where a forklift fell on them at Papé Machinery.

Authorities from the Cornelius Fire Department released preliminary information surrounding the incident. They say it happened just before noon at Papé Machinery Agriculture & Turf, which is located at 3793 East Baseline Street.

Preliminary reports have indicated that a customer--identifying information not released--was purchasing equipment at the time and was standing nearby as an employee was loading the purchase with a forklift. The forklift traveled up a ramp, but it high-centered when it reached the top, causing the forklift to lose balance and fall.

When the equipment fell, it landed on the customer's leg and inflicted serious injuries. After some time, workers were able to use another forklift to lift the equipment off of the customer. The customer was eventualy transported to a trauma center in Portland for treatment. It would appear the person driving the forklift was not injured.

At this time, additional details surrounding the accident are still unclear. No further information has been released.

Map of the Area

Commentary

I think the simple reality of this accident is that there are many ways in which this accident could have been avoided, and it needs to be determined exactly why employees at Papé Machinery failed to do so. There's a very good reason why places like Home Depot or Lowe's ensures their customers are nowhere near forklifts while they're moving products or equipment. Their procedures often involve keeping employee gates closed or having employees on either side of the forklift as it travels through the store. This helps prevent customers from being anywhere near the dangerous equipment and being involved in accidents like this one.

So not only was there an issue with allowing a customer to stand so close to the forklift, but there was obviously an issue which caused it to tip over in the first place. Most forklifts are nearly twice as heavy as a typical passenger vehicle, so it takes bit more than a strong breeze to knock them over. That being said, the article I saw said the forklift "high-centered" on a ramp, which means the forklift bottomed out when it reached the top of the ramp. This tells me that whoever set up the ramp obviously didn't take the angle at the top of the ramp into account or simply misjudged the height of the angle. Does this business not have rules regarding how to load and unload equipment? Or perhaps those rules were simply disregarded? Was there a supervisor overseeing operations when this accident occurred?

The fact of the matter is this accident easily could have been avoided because the customer shouldn't have been anywhere near the forklift. A thorough investigation needs to be conducted here to determine who allowed this dangerous environment to exist which led to the serious and possibly long-lasting or permanent injuries that this customer sustained. Mistakes like this cannot go unaddressed, otherwise other people could be harmed or even killed in the future.

--Grossman Law Offices

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