Sometimes, a very safe workplace can hold hidden dangers. That’s what became apparent at the Embraco North America (ENA) facility in Suwanee, Georgia. In operation since 1991, this sales, R&D, and distribution center for Embraco—a world leader in the manufacture of refrigeration compressors— enjoyed a perfect safety record until an unusual, but preventable event occurred.
“Many years ago a forklift operator drove off of a loading dock while unloading trucks. As the truck was pulling away from the dock, the forklift operator, who had been unloading the truck, did not feel the truck leaving the dock because he was also moving. He was driving back to the dock but the truck had already pulled away, so he fell between the truck and the dock,” explains Terrence Burks, warehouse supervisor. Fortunately, the forklift operator survived, but suffered serious injury.