Heavy Equipment Operator and Rancher Crushed by Excavator—Oregon
Oregon Case Report: 21OR01
Release Date: May 23, 2023
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 March 12th, 2021, a 57-year-old heavy equipment operator and 47-year-old rancher were run over by an excavator; they died from their injuries immediately. Another individual was able to stop the excavator without getting injured. At the time of the incident, the heavy equipment operator was standing on the tracks when the pilot control stop bar was accidentally released, allowing the machine to start moving. He fell in between the tracks. When the rancher saw him fall, he ran to the machine to pull him to safety but was also run over by the machine. The operator’s lunchbox had been left resting on the travel control levers causing the machine to activate when the pilot control stop bar was accidentally released.
Heavy Equipment Operator and Rancher Crushed by Excavator—Oregon [PDF 2,190 KB]