On June 17, 2005, a male roadway construction supervisor died after being backed over by a water truck at a roadway construction site. The victim was part of a seven-man crew performing a milling operation on a 2,200-foot-long and eight-foot-wide blacktop berm of a recently paved section of a four-lane state highway. Due to a quality control problem, the blacktop berm had to be taken up and replaced. The milling machine had the capacity to remove a six-foot-wide section of the berm at a time. The crew had completed the six-foot-wide milling operation on the 2,200 foot section of the berm and had decided to mill the remaining two feet of berm before quitting for the day. A tractor equipped with a road sweeper was positioned behind the milling machine and the water truck was positioned beside the milling machine in the closed right side, westbound lane of the highway. The supervisor jumped onto the running board of the water truck and instructed the driver to return to the starting point of the milling operation and to apply water to the remaining two feet of the berm. The driver began to back the truck the 2,200 feet to the starting point. After dismounting the truck's running board, the supervisor walked around the tractor and into the path of the backing water truck. The two rear passenger-side truck axles backed over the supervisor before the tractor operator could alert the truck driver. A crew member called 911 from a company cell phone while other crew members moved the victim from underneath the truck. The victim was breathing and vital signs could be detected. The victim was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead by the attending physician. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar incidents, employers should: 1. ensure that workers on foot remain clear of moving equipment; 2. consider the use of electronic signaling devices or sensors to warn equipment operators of workers on foot in the immediate work area; 3. ensure that backing procedures are in place for the use of mobile construction vehicles, and use spotters for assistance when backing trucks and equipment in the work zone. Additionally, manufacturers of heavy construction equipment, such as water trucks, should explore the possibility of incorporating new monitoring technology (e.g., radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and tag readers) on their equipment to help monitor the presence of workers on foot in blind areas.
Region-4; Accident-analysis; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Road-construction; Construction-equipment; Warning-devices; Warning-signals; Warning-systems; Monitors; Monitoring-systems; Surveillance