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Skid-steer operator crushed while controlling the skid-steer from outside the cab, Oregon

Oregon Case Report: 18OR008
Release Date: September 2019


On March 30, 2018, a 36-year-old male skid-steer (track loader) operator was caught between the cab and lift arm. Nearby security video captured the event. Installation of helical piers, foundation support anchors, had been completed. The operator was attempting to disconnect the employer fabricated helical hydraulic head attachment from the last installed helical pier. He was controlling the skid-steer while standing in front of the cab in between the lift arms front frame rail cross member. A hydraulic hose that had been wrapped around the right control lever of the skid-steer pulled the control lever forward and when the operator pulled the safety bar down, the right lever was engaged causing the lift arms to lower, crushing the operator. The operator was pronounced dead at the scene.

Occupational injuries and fatalities are often the result of one or more contributing factors or key events in a larger
sequence of events that ultimately result in the injury or fatality. OR-FACE investigators identified the following factors that may have contributed to this incident:

    • Operating a skid-steer from outside the cab and bypassing the safety feature
    • Not following manufacturer’s instructions
    • Inadequate knowledge of hazards
    • Inadequate training and communication

Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Employers should ensure that employees operate a skid-steer inside of the cab and should not bypass its safety features.
  • Employers/employees should review and adhere to equipment manufacturer operating manual.
  • Employers should train employees to identify hazards such as caught-in/between hazards and methods to mitigate or eliminate hazards.

Skid-steer operator crushed while controlling the skid-steer from outside the cab, Oregon [PDF 1,212 KB]