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Operator pinned between the hydraulic tilt cylinder housing and the frame of a skid-steer loader.

New Jersey Department of Health
NIOSH 2001 Jul; :1-6
On January 10, 2001, a 43-year old male died from injuries sustained when he was pinned between the hydraulic tilt cylinder housing and the frame of a skid-steer loader. The skid-steer loader was being used to clear snow from a parking lot. On the night of the incident, there was an accumulation of packed snow and ice that completely surrounded the foot pedals. The foot pedals controlling the operation of the loader arms and bucket are located on the floor near the front frame of the loader. The left foot pedal raises and lowers the skid-steer loader arms and the right foot pedal controls bucket tilt. It appears that the operator was attempting to clean the snow from around these pedals. Snow and ice had been cleared from in front of and behind the right foot pedal controlling bucket tilt. The front "toe" portion of the left foot pedal controlling the loader arm had been partially cleared of ice and snow, but snow was still present behind the "toe" area as well as surrounding the remainder of the foot pedal. With the lift arm/bucket in the raised position, the deceased was apparently cleaning the left foot pedal. While clearing the snow from around the foot pedal, the deceased evidently pressed the "toe" of the foot pedal, which lowered the lift arm/bucket. The deceased was found standing on the ground facing the loader, pinned between the hydraulic tilt cylinder and the skid-steer loader frame. The seat bar was in the down position, and the ignition key, which was bent, was in the cab seat. The Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to raise the lift arms to provide access to the deceased. Figure 1 courtesy of New Jersey FACE. Recommendations: 1. Operators of skid-steer loaders should be trained in and follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures to safely operate, service, maintain, and exit the skid-steer loader. 2. Employers should prohibit skid-steer loader operators from working underneath raised lift arms if an approved lift arm support is not available. 3. Operators who are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol should not operate machinery since their ability to recognize and respond appropriately to hazardous situations can be impaired. 4. MIFACE suggests that manufacturers review the design characteristics of skid-steer loaders to ensure that operators may not routinely exit or perform service activities when the lift arms are raised without a properly installed approved lift arm support in place.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Equipment-operators; Machine-operators; Training; Substance-abuse
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-01MI001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University