Construction Laborer Died When Struck by an Excavator Bucket that Detached from a Quick Coupler — California
California Case Report: 21CA004
Release Date: January 5, 2022
On August 3, 2021, a 54-year-old Hispanic construction laborer was struck by an excavator bucket that detached from a quick coupler that was attached to the boom. The crew was installing an underground storm drainage system on a residential street. The victim was in the trench when the excavator operator swung the boom over the trench to continue digging. The bucket detached from the quick coupler and struck the victim below, killing him.
The California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (CA/FACE) program investigator determined that, in order to prevent similar incidents, construction companies that operate excavators should:
- Establish procedures that will ensure workers are not working within the excavator boom swing radius or beneath an elevated load.
- Ensure that operators maintain and inspect quick couplers to prevent malfunctions that may cause an unintended release of the excavator’s bucket.
Construction Laborer Died When Struck by an Excavator Bucket that Detached from a Quick Coupler — California [PDF – 2,201 KB]