Woman (27) died instantly in forklift crush death, inquest hears

Lynsey Flood sustained severe head injuries in Dublin workplace incident

A young woman died after the steel loaded forklift she was driving tipped over and crushed her, an inquest heard.

Lynsey Flood (27) of Sycamore Avenue in Carpenterstown, Castleknock, sustained severe traumatic head injuries in the accident on November 7th, 2014.

A prominent member of Dublin ladies GAA, she had lost her job in a bar and restaurant in Dublin five weeks before the accident and was helping out at the family business, Expert Scaffolding.

Her father Michael Flood told Dublin Coroner’s Court that she had asked him for work and errands to ‘have a few bob in her pocket’ as she looked for work. He said she had operated a forklift while travelling in Australia.

“She was a girl that would do anything, she was helping out in order to have a few bob in her pocket. I’d seen her drive (the forklift) so I knew she was capable,” Mr Flood said.

Ms Flood arrived at the family firm at Hickey’s Yard, Old Ashbourne Road, The Ward, Co Dublin at about 8.50am on the day of the accident.

Her uncle, Brian Garret saw her drive in and said he would see her later as he left on a delivery.

Conor Sheil who works at Hickey’s Yard arrived at 9.15am and noticed the forklift on its side. On inspection, he saw Ms Flood’s blonde hair under the machine and called 999.

HSA Inspector Martina Gormley said the 2.5 tonne Nissan forklift truck was transporting a load containing 91 steel rods in a steel box weighing a total of 800kg. She said Ms Flood was not wearing a seat belt and the forklift was fully extended when she turned left too quickly out of the Expert Scaffolding yard and tipped over.

“The forklift overturned to the right and Miss Flood suffered fatal injuries,” Ms Gormley said.

The cause of death was severe traumatic head injuries and Miss Flood was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 11am.

"I think Lynsey died instantly in this incident," Coroner Dr Brian Farrell told family members.

“While this is a workplace accident, there are a number of risk factors involved,” the coroner said. The risks included how the forklift was driven, its instability due to disposition of the boom with the load, and the lack of a seat belt. The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure and recommended that forklift trucks be fitted with a device that could prevent operation unless the seat belt is engaged.