On March 12, 2001, a 28-year-old laborer (the victim) died after he was struck by the bucket of a hydraulic excavator. The victim, a coworker, and the company president were using an excavator equipped with a quick-disconnect bucket-coupler to load concrete manhole sections onto a truck for transport to another location. The company president was operating the excavator. The victim was positioned on the ground to connect the manhole sections to the excavator while the coworker was located on the truck, to disconnect the sections after they had been landed on the truck bed. The operator had positioned the excavator's bucket near a manhole section and was waiting while the victim attached a three-leg bridle to the manhole section for lifting. The victim had connected two bridle legs and was connecting the third when the bucket suddenly disconnected from the excavator stick, fell onto the manhole section, and struck the victim, knocking him to the ground. Emergency responders were notified immediately. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt trauma to the head. NIOSH investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1) ensure that equipment is operating correctly by training operators to conduct visual and operational checks of all machine systems and control functions before working the machine; 2) ensure workers on foot remain outside of hydraulic excavator swing areas and clear of attachments when using the machines for hoisting materials; 3) ensure that equipment fixtures and their operating systems are installed according to the manufacturer's recommendations.