New Jersey workers who are concerned about safety in their workplaces can make a confidential report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. An example might be a workplace in which employees do not have the necessary equipment to perform their duties safely. This was the case with a 33-year-old warehouse worker who fell 7 feet to his death after standing on a pallet that had been lifted to a high shelf. The pallet was not designed for lifting people.
An OSHA investigation of the incident found that being lifted on the pallets was commonplace at the work site and that workers had not been provided with safe equipment for this task. According to OSHA, the employer was responsible for ensuring that employees did not misuse the forklift in this way. They should have been provided with equipment such as a personnel lifting platform equipped with a safety feature such as a guardrail to keep the worker from falling.
Workers must have fall protection that is used correctly. The employer also failed to provide adequate training for forklift operators and people working around the forklift.
When a nonfatal fall happens in the workplace, an employee could still be injured and need to take time off work. The nature of a workplace injury could range from minor to serious, but in any case, a victim may be eligible for workers' compensation. Workers are also eligible for compensation if a workplace hazard causes an illness. Victims may want to talk to an attorney to find out if they are eligible for compensation. Compensation may cover a worker's medical expenses as well as lost wages and other costs associated with the injury or illness.