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Career fire fighter fatally injured when struck in the head by the boom of an aerial platform - Louisiana.

NIOSH 2009 Jun; :1-10
On September 29, 2008, a 48-year-old male career fire fighter was fatally injured while operating an articulating aerial platform fire apparatus. The 30-year fire fighting veteran was operating the fire department's bucket truck to provide an aerial view for an insurance claim adjustor who was assessing hurricane damage to the fire station. After returning to the ground, the victim got on the fire apparatus' tailboard to access the operating controls to lower and cradle the bucket. Upon lowering the boom, he was struck from behind and his head was pinned between the boom and the apparatus body. A fellow fire fighter came out of the station to check on the victim and found him pinned. The fire fighter moved the boom enough to release the victim. After failed attempts to revive the victim, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Key contributing factors identified in this investigation included the location of the operating controls on the fire apparatus, possible failure to follow established procedures for safely lowering and cradling the boom, and potentially the age of the articulating boom which was more than 25 years old. Note: The articulating aerial platform fire apparatus was impounded by the city and was not available to the NIOSH investigator. NIOSH was not able to determine if a failure due to the age of the mechanical/hydraulic components had occurred. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. ensure that standard operating procedures for older equipment include multiple safety measures; 2. consider retiring automotive fire apparatus more than 25 years old.
Region-6; Fire-fighters; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-responders; Fire-fighting-equipment; Safety-practices; Work-practices; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Services: Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health