Forklift accident kills Fontana man


An early morning forklift accident killed a 59-year-old Fontana man at a cement manufacturing plant in north Rialto.

Rialto Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene and found found Jack Leo Buffum, a 59 year-old resident of Fontana, had been struck by a forklift. Paramedics pronounced Buffum deceased on scene.

Jack Leo Buffum died at the scene soon after being hit by the machine at 6:53 a.m. Thursday, May 30, along the 2200 block of West Lowell Street, say San Bernardino County coroner’s officials.

Buffum was helping the operator of a 65,000-pound fork lift that’s so large that a ladder is needed to reach the cab. Together, the men were moving large concrete pipes from one side of Rialto Concrete Products to the other, said police Sgt. Tim Lane.

“The operator … lost track of the location of the assistant and ran him over,” Lane said.

Injured in a forklift accident?

Forklift trucks have proved to be an invaluable part of reducing worker load by assisting in the transport of materials across the workplace. The use of forklifts has helped reduce common musculoskeletal injuries that are caused by repetitive lifting and carrying activities. Unfortunately, improperly maintained or operated forklifts cause a large number of accidents in the workplace. According to OSHA estimates, approximately 680,400 forklift accidents take place each year. These result in injuries to approximately 9,000 employees, most of whom are pedestrian workers. Some common forklift accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Employees struck by falling load
  • Employees struck by powered forklifts
  • Forklift tip over
  • Electrocutions
  • Falls from forklift
Without adequate training in safe forklift operation, a forklift operator may adopt poor techniques like dangerous turning and backing methods, improper parking, and failure to warn others about the presence of the forklift nearby. Miscommunication between operators and pedestrian workers while a forklift is in operation, can often lead to collisions.

If you were involved in a forklift accident, you simply do not have the luxury of taking your time. You will likely need immediate medical attention followed by swift legal action. For help in approaching the claim process and ensuring that your rights are protected to the full extent of the law, do not hesitate to talk to an industrial accident attorney from our legal team as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Gary A. Kessler, we have shown that we can trusted in even the most complex of litigation. Should you choose to work with us, you will be able to rest easier knowing that you will have an advocate on your side that is fully prepared to go the distance in their efforts to defend your legal rights.


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