Truck Driver Freeing Frozen Rear Brakes on a Dump Truck was Run Over When the Truck Rolled Forward
Michigan Case Report: 15MI061
In late winter/early spring 2015 a male truck driver in his 40s was run over when attempting to free the frozen rear passenger side brakes of a dump truck. The brake was frozen due to cold winter weather. The decedent was asked by a coworker to free up the brake while he watched “how it was done”. The decedent asked his coworker to chock the tire and take off the air brake. The truck was on a slight incline so his coworker chocked the back of the front right tire. His coworker released the air brake but did not take the truck out of drive. The decedent was using a small sledge hammer to tap on the brake drum. When the brake popped free, the truck rolled forward, over the decedent and his coworker’s leg. The truck came to rest across the street against a wall. Emergency response was called. He was declared dead at the scene.
MIFACE identified the following key and possibly contributing factors:
- The truck was parked in the public works yard for an extended period of time in adverse weather conditions.
- The truck was running, transmission in gear, and one wheel chocked in only one direction while the task was performed
- No standard operating procedure to minimize the likelihood of stuck/frozen brakes.