Earlier this week, a North Carolina man was seriously injured at work while driving a forklift. Officials later reported that the man was not able to recover and he died as a result of the workplace accident. Now the North Carolina Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division is investigating the fatal accident in order to determine whether or not the man’s employer was responsible for causing the man’s wrongful death.
In North Carolina, employers are required to enforce a variety of safety rules and regulations in order prevent serious accidents from occurring in the workplace as a result of negligence. When employers fail to address hazardous conditions in the workplace or when employers fail to give employees the tools and training they need in order to properly perform their jobs, they risk putting their employees in harm’s way.
According to reports, the forklift operator worked at the Jones County Cotton Gin. He was rushed to Pitt County Memorial Hospital on Tuesday after his body was discovered on the ground by some bales. The man suffered severe injuries to his head, face and left side of his body.
Although it will take months for the DOL to investigate the circumstances of the fatal accident, preliminary reports have indicated that some stacked cotton bales, which weighed several hundred pounds each, had fallen while the forklift operator was moving the bales. A spokesman for the DOL commented that the agency will be investigating whether or not the Jones County Cotton Gin had violated any occupational safety and health standards that could have contributed to the worker’s accident.
The employee was 62 years old, and many in the community have been affected by the man’s death. One friend commented, “He’s just a humble type of man that loved his church and his family, and his neighbors too.” The man leaves behind a wife, several children and stepchildren and three grandchildren.
Source: Kinston.com, “Jones Cotton Gin worker that died identified,” David Anderson, Dec. 1, 2011