A 41-year-old Sussex County man suffered critical injuries on Wednesday during the delivery of lumber to a construction site at a senior citizen residential facility in Hackettstown. The construction accident occurred just before 11 in the morning. The injured worker was placing lumber under a pallet to allow a forklift to reach the delivery truck when the accident occurred.
Police say a forklift operator left the unattended machine in drive. As the lumber company worker was manually adjusting the forks on the machine to accommodate the pallet, the lift rolled forward, pinning the worker against the lumber delivery truck.
Someone reportedly found the trapped worker sometime later and moved the forklift. It has not been determined how long the man was pinned between the forklift and delivery truck. When police arrived, the worker was on the ground, but alert.
The worker complained of abdominal pain and was taken to the hospital. Emergency personnel drove the worker to the hospital in Hackettstown, where the worker was airlifted to Morristown Memorial Hospital.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reportedly opened an investigation of the workplace injury. Usually OSHA investigations can last up to six months.
The owner of the property where the accident occurred reportedly owns the forklift. The construction site is on Route 57 in Hackettstown New Jersey. The machine reportedly was being operated by the carpenters working on the construction project. The building under construction is one of four proposed buildings at the site. The property owner expects two buildings of the four to be completed in the construction project in 2012.