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A county road worker died when a tow rope connection broke loose and struck him in the head.

NIOSH 2003 Jul; :1-3
A 61-year-old equipment operator for a county maintenance crew died on January 8, 2003, from head injuries received in a towing incident when a tow rope connection broke loose and struck him in the head. At the time of the incident, the victim was seated in a motor grader that was stuck in a ditch. Another grader had been dispatched and was attempting to pull the grader that was stuck. The tow rope was attached to a ripper tooth on the dispatched grader. During the towing process, the ripper tooth broke loose and was slung forward and struck the victim in the back of the head. Co-workers called for help via a two-way radio. An ambulance arrived at the scene within 25-30 minutes, but the injuries sustained by the worker were sufficiently severe to cause death within two hours of the incident. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Develop written procedures to safely tow equipment using work practices that provide protection from flying parts that could break loose during the operation. 2. Train workers on safe procedures for towing equipment.
Region-6; 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; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Training; Safety-programs; Maintenance-workers; Construction-equipment
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-03OK007; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613938
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oklahoma State Department of Health