Operator of a Trailer Tipper Fatally Struck by a Tractor Trailer at a Landfill, New York
New York Case Report: 16NY009
On February 6, 2016, a 55-year-old equipment operator (victim) was killed while operating a trailer tipper at a landfill. The trailer tipper in this case had a movable platform that could hold, raise, and tilt a trailer to over 60 degrees and discharge the refuse through its rear doors (Photo 1). To get on the tipper, a tractor trailer had to back onto the trailer tipper deck. The communication between a tipper operator and a delivery driver was through a designated CB radio channel. The incident occurred on a Saturday at around 11 AM when the victim was operating the tipper and the last tractor trailer was getting ready to back onto the tipper. The trailer was hauled by a military surplus tractor (“army truck”, Photo 4). The “army truck” did not have a backup alarm and its radio was broken so there was no radio communication between the victim and the truck driver. At the time of the incident, the victim exited the operator’s cab of the tipper and walked to the other side of the deck where the hydraulic controls for the tipper outrigger cylinders were located. He was wearing a high visibility vest. A landfill bulldozer operator stated that he saw the victim standing on the deck leaning over the outrigger controls. Meanwhile the “army truck” was backing onto the trailer deck. The bulldozer operator yelled into his CB radio to stop the delivery driver from backing onto the tipper; the “army truck” driver heard nothing since the truck radio was broken. The bulldozer operator could not warn the victim since the CB radio was inside the operator’s cab and the victim could not hear the radio once he was outside the cab. The “army truck” driver did not see the victim and he continued backing onto the tipper deck. The victim was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer on the passenger side suffering fatal crushing injuries. The bulldozer operator got to the front of the tipper to signal the driver who stopped the truck. The bulldozer operator immediately called 911. EMTs responded and arrived at the site within minutes, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.