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Semi-Truck Driver Died When Struck by Precast Concrete Panel That Fell From Semi Trailer

Michigan Case Report: 09MI075

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.


In fall 2009, a male semi-truck driver in his 60s died when he was struck by a 3,770-pound precast concrete panel that fell from a semi-truck trailer. The semi-trailer had two A-frames carrying precast concrete panels. One A-frame was located toward the rear of the trailer and one to the front of the trailer. The sides of the A-frame, against which the panels rested, were faced outward on both sides of the trailer. After arriving at the site, the decedent removed the load securement straps from all of the concrete panels. The unsecured precast concrete panel that struck the decedent was located on the A-frame toward the front of the trailer facing the passenger side. A crane operator was lifting a precast panel from an A-frame located at the rear of the trailer facing the driver’s side. A single looped tag line approximately 45 feet in length was in use. The following sequence of events is postulated: As the precast panel from the rear of the trailer was lifted up and over toward the truck cab, the looped tag line caught the edge of the unsecured panel at the front passenger side A-frame. The decedent was standing near the passenger door and noticed the looped tag line catch on the corner of the incident panel. As he was approaching to move the tag line away from the panel, the tag line ran out of slack, tightened, and exerted enough force to cause the panel to fall from the A-frame, strike his right shoulder and head, and then pin him to the ground (See Figure 1). After the panel fell, the crane operator lowered the precast panel he was lifting. Coworkers unhooked this panel and then hooked the crane to the panel pinning the decedent. The panel was lifted from the decedent and emergency response was called. The decedent was transported to a local hospital and declared dead.

Semi-Truck Driver Died When Struck by Precast Concrete Panel That Fell From Semi Trailer [PDF 187 KB]