Truck driver crushed between semi-trailer and loading dock

Oregon Case Report:10OR006
Release Date: March 2013

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.


On February 8, 2010, a 62-year old truck driver was crushed and killed between a 53-foot semi-trailer and loading dock. After the delivery, he realized a tie-down strap was inside the warehouse. He pulled the truck a short distance away from the loading dock and returned to get the strap. Standing between the semi-trailer and loading dock, he banged on the roll-up door. The receiving company employee opened it, handed him the strap, noticed the semi-trailer moving, and yelled a warning, but the driver was pinned. The truck was pulled forward off of the victim by the warehouse employee. The ramp had a 2 degree slope. The wheels of the trailer were not chocked, and the warehouse employee reported that the victim left the truck running and in neutral with none of the brakes set. However, the Fire Department reported that “a trailer brake” was set, but not the tractor parking brake. The Fire Department also moved the truck, chocking the wheels to establish a safe work area. There were no mechanical problems found on the tractor or trailer during the post incident inspection. The brake systems were working properly. Multiple factors may have allowed the truck/trailer movement. Based on interviews with eyewitnesses and with trucking experts, it is likely that the parking brakes were not set, allowing the truck and trailer to move and crush the victim. The slider axle of the trailer was also unlocked, which could have allowed the trailer to move on the rail over the axle as the truck rolled backwards.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015