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Front hopper gate operator run over by chip spreader during street resurfacing.

NIOSH 2004 Aug; :1-7
In the summer of 2002, a 21-year-old male road construction worker was crushed while making adjustments to a roadway resurfacing machine on a straight and level portion of street. The chip spreading machine was a 1992 model, and was pulling a 1984 tandem axle dump truck. Three construction workers were involved in this incident: the primary operator of the chip spreading machine; a secondary side-gate or front hopper operator (the victim); and the dump truck driver. The victim had worked with this equipment 2 previous summers. It was the first day of road resurfacing at this worksite and everything was considered routine. The chip spreading machine was moving slowly forward on the roadway, pulling the rear-facing dump truck behind it. While the equipment was in operation, the side-gate operator (victim) got off the rock-chip spreading machine and went into an adjacent wooded area. He returned to his work station at the front right of the chip spreader and began adjusting the gate levers. Subsequently, he fell in front of the chip spreading machine and was run over first by the chip spreader and then by the left rear axle of the dump truck, at which time the dump truck became uncoupled from the chip spreader's hitch. The driver got out of his truck to investigate. He found the victim lying between the first and second sets of duals on the driver's side rear axles and moved the truck forward. The victim died at the scene from severe head and neck injuries. RECOMMENDATIONS based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Employers must educate and instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe work conditions and applicable regulations associated with their work environment to control or eliminate any hazard(s) or other exposure to illness or injury. 2. When two people are required to simultaneously perform operational tasks their work must be coordinated, which requires effective communication. 3. Manufacturers of chip spreaders should employ engineering controls to reduce excess noise and designs that do not require an operator other than the primary operator.
Region-7; 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; Protective-measures; Equipment-operators; Training; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-workers; Truck-drivers; Road-construction; Road-surfacing
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-02IA030; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health