Municipal Foreman Killed When Struck by a Backhoe Loader Outrigger While in an Excavation- Massachusetts
Massachusetts Case Report: 14MA003
Release Date: March 30, 2016
On February 4, 2014, a 48-year-old male general foreman (victim) employed by a local municipal water department was fatally injured while repairing a water line break. The victim was inside an excavated hole located in a roadway with three other co-workers. A backhoe loader was positioned near the trench with its outriggers extended and bucket attachment resting inside the dump section of a dump truck. The backhoe loader was unintentionally pulled forward when the dump truck was driven forward. As the backhoe loader was pulled forward, the outrigger on the right side struck the victim and dragged him out of the excavated hole. A police officer performing a traffic detail was on site and placed a call for emergency medical services (EMS). EMS, the fire department and the local and state police arrived at the incident location within minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Contributing factors identified in this investigation included resting the backhoe bucket attachment in the dump truck when not being used, lack of communication among workers, not closing the roadway during the repair resulting in a limited work area, and absence of a safety and health program.