1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

Fatal Forklift Accident

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by Steve Frazier, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,119
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    A very popular area businessman was killed last week working at his business, apparently under a raised forklift. This would make the fifth person I've interacted with during my construction career who has been killed in a crushing accident. I can not stress enough to NEVER, EVER work under anything suspended by hydraulics, the risk of death or injury is just too great!!

    http://www.pcnr.com/news/2015-11-25...ilipstown_Businessman_Killed_in_Tragic_W.html
     
  2. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,098
    Location:
    North Dakota
    What about our High-lift hydraulic doors?? Not trying to stir the pot, but they have no safety, and no way to put any on. Reading the article, it sounds like it was some sort of support system that failed, not necessarily the forklift itself?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  3. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    7,696
    Location:
    Elsewhen
    There's always a way to add a safety device to anything that moves, though it may not be easy or inexpensive.

    I used to cringe hearing about dump truck drives getting pinned under their dump beds, two dollars worth of design change would eliminate 90% of those, using the bed safety bar or chocks the rest. It still happens now and then.
     
  4. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,119
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    Shimmy, the news article is vague and I don't know any further details and I've learned to read news articles knowing they aren't always 100% accurate. A friend of the family told me that the forklift failed but I didn't pry. I don't know anything about these doors you mention but I stand by my warning of never working under something suspended by hydraulics, there have been too many failures locally than I'm willing to take a risk in doing it. I won't allow anyone working around me to do it either.

    lantraxco, one of the five I mentioned was killed that way a few years ago and another friend had a very near miss in the same situation. It only takes a minute to throw a block of wood back at the hinge.
     
  5. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    9,582
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    Have to admit many years ago I came close to being one of these statistics. As a much younger fool I was doing some work on a R-35 Euclid for some stupid reason I stepped on the frame behind the cab with the box up. Well if you are familiar with these trucks you know the hoist control rod is about even with the top of the frame on the left side. Stepping on the frame I also pushed down on the control rod which caused the box to start to come down. Luckily it did not move far enough to click into the detent and I was off the truck and on to the ground before it moved very far. I did not make that stupid mistake twice!
     
  6. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,098
    Location:
    North Dakota

    Attached Files:

  7. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    7,696
    Location:
    Elsewhen
    This is the perfect place for a simple half pipe on each cylinder that connects to the rod end pin and when the cylinders are fully extended, it drops down to cover the rod and comes up against the rod gland as a mechanical safety. I think some of the skid steers use something similar. Bit of cable connected to a handle that you pull before lowering is all you'd need to pop it up out of the way. Nothing mechanical is perfect, but with the slightest bit of attention it should be pretty foolproof.
     
  8. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,481
    Location:
    Gladstone Queensland Australia
    Yair . . .

    They sure are nice Shimmy1.

    I have never seen such doors furnished with hydraulics and I am surprised they are not required to have some safety devise . . . I assume there would be check-valves to control descent in case of a blown hose?

    Mechanical failure such as a broken/dislodged pin or a failed weld is possible and some huge cable operated hanger doors of the same style have props that deploy as the door lifts and lock into holes on the apron.

    At a field day I saw Lantraxco's suggestion on loaders fitted to a line of Chinese built agricultural tractors, it looks simple and effective.

    To be honest, after a lifetime of being conscious of not being under a suspended load I believe (illogical though it probably is) those doors would make me nervous.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  9. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,098
    Location:
    North Dakota
    Yeah, I hear you. Our new shop has a 46' wide by 20' high one of these in the back end. That's how I know there are no locks or props of any kind that hold it up besides the cylinders.
     
  10. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,119
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    I couldn't find any mention of a safety system on their website either. That would concern me.

    One of my friends had his leg broken when one of the overhead doors at the truck shop failed and came crashing down. He happened to be walking under it at the time. This was the traditional panel door with springs and cables. I don't remember what failed, but it sure came down in a hurry!
     
  11. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    12,690
    Occupation:
    Service Manager
    Location:
    Knoxville TN
    Most likely one of the torsion springs broke. When that happens they drop like a rock. If it had been one of the cables that broke it would have simply got all jacked cockeyed in the tracks. I used to work on doors in a former life, but doors just never excited me. As for those hydraulic doors, I know nothing about them, but I'd be really surprised if the cylinders that lift and support those doors did not have holding valves on the cylinders or at the very least a velocity fuse on the extend pressure port.
     
  12. Mobiltech

    Mobiltech Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,247
    Occupation:
    Self employed Heavy duty mechanic
    Location:
    Sask.
    I guess that's why all the safety guys in shops around here have put up signs warning against ever walking through an overhead door. You must always use the man doors even if it means walking another 50 ft to get outside.
     
  13. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    12,690
    Occupation:
    Service Manager
    Location:
    Knoxville TN
    I can't and won't argue with even overkill of safety, not in a position to do that, nevertheless it is rather overkill from cautioning someone from walking under an overhead sectional or roll up door when it's in the fully raised position. In that position the torsion springs have very very little tension on them, the chances of a spring breaking in that position is about even with winning the powerball lottery. But as the door is coming down, that's when the springs begin to tension to counterbalance the weight of the door, say half way down to fully closed, that's when they'll snap, and it happens in a hurry, faster than you can react.

    As for the forklift accident, yes, we don't fully know the details, nor do we know what type of machine it was. Just to throw out my guess I wager it was an old school mast type forklift with lifting chains. If one of those chains fail with a load on it, the companion chain ain't got a chance, it'll drop lickety split. Never ever get under a mast type forklift with lifting chains.
     
  14. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    7,022
    Location:
    WI
    Captain William McNamara of the Sheriff’s Department told the PCNR Monday that Joseph Giachinta, 58, of Cold Spring, was working under a forklift at the Mid Hudson Concrete Products plant on Route 9: “The heavy machinery was raised and supported by a hoist and jack system; however, components of the system failed, resulting in the forklift crashing to the ground and pinning Mr. Giachinta beneath it.”

    That sounds like he was fixing the forklift, not using it or under a raised load. But going by what the journalist wrote, and even what the LEO said, is still speculation.

    I'm as guilty as anybody of not blocking stuff while working underneath. With most trucks if you leave the wheels on at least you have a pretty good chance of not getting hurt if it slips. Forklifts seem especially dangerous because there isn't as much room underneath, and the weight isn't evenly distributed. Plus they're much heavier than they look.

    Just speculating in general, I have no idea what kind of forklift this was or what happened.

    You would think it would be easy enough to make those doors come down relatively slow just by making very small ports on the cylinder. All bets are off if the cylinder breaks loose though.
     
  15. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,119
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    This is how one of my buddies had a near miss. Body was up on a 10 wheeler and he reached over the truck frame for something and hit the release cable. Body started coming down without his knowlege, and alert coworker grabbed him out of the way.
     
  16. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,119
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    It could very well be that the jack and hoist system he was using was hydraulic too.. We use hydraulic jacks at the shop all the time but I have plenty of 8 x 8 blocking and heavy duty jackstands to use before going under whatever has been lifted. Even that isn't infallible, I've had a vehicle or two slip off a jack stand, fortunately have lived to tell about it.

    Bottom line is it's not a good idea to work under anything suspended by hydraulics.
     
  17. OCR

    OCR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,195
    Occupation:
    Rancher/Farmer, Wildland Fire Fighter, State snowp
    Location:
    Montana
    Same here, but I did find...

    How the hydraulic door works:

    http://www.powerliftdoors.com/main/category/articles/page/2/


    OCR
     
  18. OCR

    OCR Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,195
    Occupation:
    Rancher/Farmer, Wildland Fire Fighter, State snowp
    Location:
    Montana
  19. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,098
    Location:
    North Dakota
  20. ba12348

    ba12348 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    United States
    Yeah you can build safeties into something all day, but at the end of that day you're going to have an overpriced useless machine. You have to draw the line somewhere, we all trust the wood that holds our houses up, and the light switches not to electrocute us, or our cars not to smash us into a brick wall.