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Mechanic killed by excavator bucket during maintenance

Oregon Case Report: 08OR001
Release Date: September 4, 2012

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.


A 47-year-old mechanic was killed by an excavator bucket during a maintenance operation. The conveyor on a portable rock crusher had stopped working, and the mechanic and equipment operators were working to raise the conveyor with the arm of a hydraulic excavator to get underneath. The mechanic stood on the conveyor, 15 feet above the ground, to complete the task of rigging a chain to attach the frame of the conveyor to the lifting eye on the excavator bucket – when the excavator boom suddenly dropped and swung, and crushed him. The excavator operator had leaned forward for a better view of the mechanic working at the bucket, and when sitting back down the pocket of his raincoat caught on the left-side control handle for the boom, and activated it.

Mechanic killed by excavator bucket during maintenance [PDF 189 KB]