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15 year-old campground laborer dies after striking a camper trailer hitch while operating a utility vehicle - Ohio.

Higgins-DN; Casini-VJ; Castillo-DN
NIOSH 2000 Jan; :1-13
A 15-year-old male laborer (the victim) died after striking a camper trailer hitch while he was operating a six-wheeled, 18-horsepower (hp) utility vehicle on a private campground. On the morning of the incident the victim drove a utility vehicle between campsites, stopping at each campsite to clean debris from fire pits. Evidence suggests that he was driving across a campsite-access driveway when he collided with the trailer hitch of a fifth-wheel camper trailer. A camper located nearby heard the utility vehicle running. As he was walking to his car, he saw the victim lying with his feet in the vehicle and his upper body leaning over the side. The camper reported that he called to the victim to ask if he was okay and received no response. When the camper got closer he could see that the victim's hands and face were blue. He ran to the campground store and asked the attendant to call 911. When he returned to the site, he saw that other campers were attending to the victim. He then ran to the roadway at the main entrance of the campground and directed local emergency medical services (EMS) to the site. In the meantime, other campers and a registered nurse, assessed the victim. Finding that the victim had no pulse or respirations, she began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). EMS arrived within 15 minutes and transported the victim to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: Know and comply with child labor laws, heed manufacturers' warnings about operation of utility vehicles; develop, implement, and enforce a policy that requires employees to use a preestablished route to access fire pits; develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program for all workers including training in hazard identification, avoidance, and abatement. Additionally: Government agencies should increase their efforts to inform the public about child labor laws, and parents should discuss the type of work their children are performing and become familiar with the occupations which are prohibited for minors.
Region-5; Child-labor; Motor-vehicles; Safety-procedures; Operators; Training; Accident-investigation; Utility-vehicles
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Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health