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Female construction worker dies in a compactor tip over at a highway construction site - South Carolina.

Burkhart-JE; Casini-VJ; Castillo-DN
NIOSH 2000 Feb; :1-6
On April 19, 1999, a 38-year-old female highway construction worker (the victim) died after the compactor she was operating off the edge of the road surface while backing up, tipped on its side and pinned her underneath. The victim had been working for a company that was subcontracted, as part of a major highway expansion project, to construct a highway off ramp that would eventually lead to an overpass bridge. The victim's job at this site was to compact the dirt ramp in preparation for hard surfacing. Two days prior to the incident, the company had delivered to the site a new compactor equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS), but no seatbelts. The victim was operating the compactor, with the enclosed cab door open, back and forth over a built up road bed when she backed up near the edge and the earth under the rear tires gave way. When the compactor tipped over the embankment, the unrestrained victim was partially thrown from the open door of the cab and pinned under the ROPS. Emergency rescue personnel were immediately called and arrived at the site within 15 minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the site. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to help prevent similar incidents, equipment manufacturers/dealers, and employers should: Ensure that all ROPS-equipped vehicles are also equipped with functioning seatbelts. Additionally, employers should: Ensure that all operators are trained on the need to wear seatbelts when operating machinery equipped with ROPS, and ensure that employees comply with company rules, as well as ensuring that the company complies with state and federal rules and regulations pertaining to occupational safety and health.
Region-4; Construction-workers; Safety-belts; Personal-protective-equipment; Compactors; Highway-construction; Construction-Search
Publication Date
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Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
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Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health