Lompoc Worker Killed in Forklift Accident


Lompoc Worker Killed in Forklift Accident

I am Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Santa Barbara. An accidental incident cost a Lompoc worker his life on Thursday, September 21.

Details of the Accident

According to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) representative, the accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. at a vineyard on Sweeney Road. The man, 60, who resided in Lompoc, was engaged in placing a forklift on a trailer. The forklift had been on a Silverado pickup, and the man became trapped between the two vehicles. The fire station from Santa Barbara County and an American Medical Response team from Santa Barbara were early responders. The deceased has been identified as Adan Guerrero Villa. There was no word on the nature of his injuries at the time this report was filed.

I would like to take this chance to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Villa for the loss they must endure.

Training for Workers

Accidents when loading a trailer are frequent, and workers must be cognizant of ways to stay safe. In fact, agricultural worker fatalities in 2011 were related to vehicular accidents only 50 percent of the time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Learning how to protect themselves when loading and unloading trailers is a considerable concern.

Forklift Injuries

Forklifts can cause many types of injuries, but it is their weight that is dangerous in the loading process. Overturning is a common problem, causing 25 percent of deaths by trapping the worker. Sometimes, positioning the forklift on the trailer can result in movement that throws the worker into a precarious position. In any 72-hour period, at least one worker is killed by a forklift.

Another problem is failure to secure the trailer and the hauling vehicle, allowing the forklift to move in the space between the hauler and the trailer. If workers are not careful, the forklift can pin them. Workers need to be trained to use proper restraints.

Hazards for Agricultural Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists the following as common hazards:

  • Heat exposure
  • Injuries involving the muscles and bones
  • Hazardous equipment
  • Falls
  • Grain storage bins
  • Pesticides
  • Motor vehicle accidents

Loading a Trailer

Knowing how to load a trailer properly is important when hauling equipment, whether on the roadway or in a vineyard. The primary focus is on the balance of the trailer and the hauling vehicle. It is vital that the vertical weight on the hauling hitch is balanced with the weight of the trailer. This vertical weight should be about 15 percent of the trailer weight. Sway by the trailer is eliminated by putting it in the trailer’s front area and securing it so it does not move during transport. Load top heavy cargo first, and secure it in several different directions.

Injuries When Loading a Trailer

Some injuries are found more commonly when doing this activity. For instance, diffuse crushing injuries, fractures, upper body entrapment, head injuries or crush injury to the back causing spinal nerve damage all happen. Emergency communication should be maintained with workers using dangerous equipment.

Santa Barbara Truck Accident& Wrongful Death Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Santa Barbara. Farm and vineyard workers are often asked to do dangerous jobs. Farm owners are obligated to train the workers in ways to stay safe. When someone in your family is killed doing work in the agricultural sector using trucks or forklifts, you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer. If you do, I am available to advise you in a friendly way that will cost you nothing until your claim is resolved successfully. Call (805) 372-0200 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I have been practicing law since 1982 in California as an injury attorney and have assisted many residents of Santa Barbara in winning just compensation in accident cases. I’ve also helped families facing the wrongful death of loved ones.

It is possible to become acquainted with former cases in order to see how they were resolved. You can do that by going to verdicts and settlements.

My reviews can be found on Yelp, Avvo and Google +. It is helpful for  the community to know about my practice.

Visit to learn about this group that allows trial lawyers to be part of the forum only if they have won a minimum of one million dollars for their clients. I was invited for California.

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