Construction Worker Killed in Forklift Accident in Portland, Oregon

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Construction Accident, Wrongful Death

There was a deadly construction accident in Portland, Oregon on May 30, 2024.  According to reports, an ironworker became trapped under a forklift at the construction project to build the Benson Polytechnic High School.  After being taken to a local hospital, the victim remained in a coma until she was pronounced dead on Saturday.  The general contractor on the project is Andersen Construction.  The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Samantha “Sam” Deschenes.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this deadly incident.

Forklift accidents pose significant risks on construction projects, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. One of the primary risks is the possibility of the forklift tipping over, which can occur due to uneven ground, overloading, or improper handling. In the case of the ironworker who became trapped under the forklift, the vehicle’s stability was likely compromised, leading to the tragic incident. Forklifts are designed to carry heavy loads, but their balance can be precarious, especially in the dynamic and often unpredictable environment of a construction site.

Another critical risk factor is the lack of proper training and safety protocols. Operators who are not adequately trained in handling forklifts may make errors in judgment or fail to adhere to safety guidelines, increasing the likelihood of accidents. On a busy construction site, where multiple activities are happening simultaneously, the risk of collision or mishandling of equipment is elevated. In this scenario, if the forklift operator was not fully aware of the surroundings or the ironworker’s position, it could have contributed to the accident, trapping the worker under the heavy machinery.

Lastly, poor communication and inadequate safety measures can exacerbate the risks associated with forklift use. Effective communication between workers and operators is crucial to ensure that everyone is aware of moving equipment and potential hazards. Safety measures such as designated pathways for forklifts, clear signage, and regular maintenance checks are essential to prevent accidents. In the incident involving the ironworker, a lapse in communication or the absence of these safety measures might have played a role in the unfortunate event. Implementing comprehensive safety protocols and fostering a culture of safety awareness are vital steps in mitigating the risks of forklift accidents on construction projects.

Tragically, there have been a number of recent deaths and injuries on construction projects.  A worker was injured in a foundation collapse in Lincoln, Nebraska on May 23, 2024.  A worker was killed when a home collapsed in Magnolia, Texas on May 28, 2024.  There was a deadly construction accident in Schertz, Texas on May 28, 2024.  There was a crane accident in Centralia, Illinois on May 30, 2024.  A worker was killed after a fall from scaffolding 9 stories in the air in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 30, 2024.  A worker was hit and killed by a dump truck in Tippecanoe County, Indiana on May 31, 2024.

Despite being a vital part of the economy, construction projects often pose severe hazards both to construction workers and to the general public if precautions are not taken.  Each construction project poses its own unique risks and hazards based on the work being done.  Risks that may present themselves during a project must be carefully evaluated before the job begins.

Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously hurt.  The experienced construction personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident at a work site.

Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party.  There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.