On April 1, 2004, a 62-year-old Hispanic equipment operator for a road construction company was crushed by a pad-foot drum compactor while attempting to manually start the machine. Prior to the incident, the victim and his co-workers were compacting soil and preparing to lay a new road surface. The workers, employed by the site’s subcontractor, did not have one of the company-owned compactors available at the site, so one was borrowed from the general contractor. Due to a faulty starter system, the machine’s engine would frequently die when used over rough terrain, requiring a manual jump-start. After running over a rock, the decedent attempted to jump-start the equipment with a hand tool, while it was in high gear and the propulsion lever was full forward. While leaning over the rear tire, the decedent was pulled in between the tire and the fender assembly and crushed when the machine engaged and moved forward. The compactor continued moving with no operator until crashing into a tree 1/4 mile away. Co-workers did not witness the incident, but did see the equipment moving and the victim lying on the ground unresponsive. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that all defective equipment is removed from service until repaired. 2. Ensure that workers are knowledgeable of the manufacturer’s recommended operating procedures and safety practices for equipment that they are assigned to operate. 3. Periodically monitor and evaluate employee conformance with safe operating procedures and provide re-training and corrective action as necessary when the procedures are not followed. Additionally, 4. Manufacturers should not provide instructions for actions that counter their safety recommendations and should consider additional fail-safe measures to prevent tampering.
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; Training; Equipment-operators; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Road-construction; Equipment-reliability; Machine-guarding; Safety-programs