Auto Technician Mistakes Handicapped-Accessible Accelerator Pedal for Brake Pedal and Fatally Pins Co-Worker
Kentucky Case Report: 14KY001
The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Monday, January 6, 2014, a 50-year-old master technician and married father was sitting at his desk in the service bay area of a dealership, with his back to the service area, when an auto technician mistook a handicapped-accessible accelerator pedal for the brake pedal causing a Lincoln MKX to travel forward. The vehicle struck the desk chair the victim was sitting in and knocked him into the desk. The co-worker driving the MKX tried to steer to the right when he realized what was occurring, but was unable to avoid striking the victim. The co-worker quickly exited the vehicle and yelled for someone to call 911. A third employee who had prior EMT experience arrived at the scene and assessed the situation, calming the victim and covering him to keep him from going into shock until the ambulance arrived. The victim died from blunt force injuries en route to the hospital.
Recommendation No. 1: Based on manufacture’s recommendations service technicians should detach unfamiliar handicapped accessible equipment if untrained to use the special equipment before operating the vehicle.
Recommendation No. 2: All duties and other tasks not involving the driver of the vehicle, should be performed in an area away from, or barricaded from contact with vehicles being serviced.