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Operator dies when his front-end loader falls into an excavation and crushes him in California.

NIOSH 1997 Jan; :1-4
A 61-year old male front-end loader operator (victim) died after being crushed by his loader. The front-end loader, which was equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS), was being used to move construction materials for recycling. The victim, who had not used the front-end loader before, had picked up a load of metal and was moving it to a large dumpster. When positioning the loader near the dumpster, the victim backed it too close to the edge of a 15-foot deep excavation which was used as a ramp for loading materials into trucks. When the loader began to fall into the trench, witnesses observed him trying to jump from the cab into the clear. The operator fell into the bottom of the excavation and the loader fell on top of him. The operator had not been wearing his seatbelt before he jumped out of the cab. There was no operator manual in the cab and the company did not provide any training for the victim on the operation of the front-end loader. The CA/FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers should: 1. Assure that ROPS equipped-backhoe operators stay in their machines, with their seatbelts fastened, when the backhoe may be in danger of falling or rolling over. 2. Assign an employee to traffic control where moving machinery must operate in confined areas. 3. Delineate the perimeter of excavations in areas where moving machinery must operate. 4. Train employees, including periodic refresher training, in the operation of machinery before they use it on the job. 5. Perform an initial hazard assessment of the job prior to beginning work. Additionally, manufacturers should: 6. Install seatbelt interlocks so that machines of this type cannot be started or operated without the seatbelt properly fastened.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Safety-belts; Training; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Equipment-operators
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-96CA010; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute