Police say a trucker was killed at a Manchester, NH,
warehouse earlier this week after being pinned by a forklift - the second
trucker in a week to die because of a forklift-related incident.
Roger West, 58, of Connecticut, died at a hospital Monday,
Feb. 5, after being pinned by a forklift as he stood outside his truck,
according to Sgt. Maureen Tessier, a Manchester Police spokeswoman.
Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call at about 8 a.m. Monday
at the Northstar Steel and Aluminum Inc. factory, and learned West already had
been taken to an area hospital, Tessier said.
Police believe West was standing near his truck when a
forklift came by and pinned him against his truck, Tessier said. Police handed
the investigation over to the federal Occupational Safety and Health
Administration after determining West's death was an accident.
West was making a delivery at the industrial building,
though police don't know who he worked for, Tessier said.
"It has all the makings of a workplace accident," Tessier
said. "It's more appropriate for OSHA to investigate."
The investigation will likely be completed in one to two
months, said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director, who declined
to reveal other details about Tuesday's incident.
Just last week, authorities in Yuma, AZ, investigated the
death of trucker Sheila Ross after Ross was crushed by a forklift loading
lettuce onto a trailer at a Dole Food Co. plant. Ross was discovered three days
later as the trailer was being unloaded in Iowa.
Ohar's office started a program in 2002 to perform surprise inspections of warehouses because of the high number of forklift-related accidents
occurring in New Hampshire, she said.
"We have seen so many fatalities and accidents with the use
of industrial trucks we developed a local emphasis program," Ohar said.
OSHA's Web site states that the agency fined Northstar Steel
and Aluminum $4,725 for 11 safety violations in 2000, including one related to
powered industrial trucks.
- By Charlie Morasch,