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9-year-old child helping with blueberry harvest dies after being run over by cargo truck on field road - Michigan.

Higgins DN; Casini VJ; Pettit TA; Castillo DN; Myers J
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 98-15, 1999 Dec; :1-34
On July 28, 1998, a 9-year-old boy (the victim) died after he jumped or fell off the back of a cargo truck and was run over. The victim had been picking blueberries with his father and an 11-year-old boy the morning of the incident. After lunch the boys helped the victim's father pick up plastic containers filled with blueberries and load them onto a cargo truck. The boys were riding in the truck's cargo area as it slowly moved in reverse, when the victim either jumped or fell off and then slipped while trying to jump back onto the truck bumper. He fell face down on the field road, and the truck ran over him. The father felt the truck bump into something, and getting out of the truck to check, he found that he had run over the victim. The father called for help to workers in the field, and a worker used a cell phone to call emergency medical services (EMS). The EMS arrived within minutes of the call, provided emergency care, and transported the victim to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: Comply with child labor laws which establish minimum ages for employment and restrict the type of work which youth, less than 16 years of age, are allowed to perform in agricultural settings. Ensue that children, who are brought to the fields where work is being performed, are restricted to areas where there is no vehicular travel or machine use, and which is free of any recognized hazards. Ensure that passengers are not allowed to ride on vehicles unless safe seating is provided. Consider equipping vehicles used in agriculture with a back-up alarm and/or signal person when trucks must be backed through areas where other workers are present. Evaluate field roads to determine a safe route for vehicular and equipment travel. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program for all workers which includes, but is not limited to, training in hazard identification, avoidance, and abatement.
Region-5; Children; Heavy-machinery; Accident-prevention; Trucks; Harvest-workers; Seat-restraints
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division