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Construction worker dies when he leans out of the protective cage of a skid steer forklift and is crushed.

Oregon Department of Human Services
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 03OR015, 2003 Jul; :1-5
A 32-year-old construction worker was killed when he leaned out in front of the loader's protective cage and the lift assembly came down crushing him. The skid steer's load was approximately 3 feet off of the ground. A short length of 2X4 had been placed on the ground beneath the load to help stabilize it. It is believed that the victim first leaned out over the safety bar, to remove the short length of 2x4 with a hammer from his tool belt. His hammer was not long enough and the victim raised the safety bar and leaned his body outside of the protective operator's cage in an attempt to again remove the 2X4. Witnesses at the scene stated that the victim's tool belt contacted the actuators in the operator's cage and the lift assembly lowered while he was leaning outside the operator's cage. According to the equipment manufacturer both the operators seat and safety bar are interlocked on this model and the hydraulics should not have raised or lowered the lift, had they been working properly. The OR FACE program received notice of this workplace fatality from a news service. The employer declined a site visit and interview. This report is based on information obtained from the local police report of the incident, information from the loss control specialist of a building trade association and various news reports. Recommendations: 1. Never modify, defeat, or override safety features. Similarly, never operate equipment in which safety systems or features have been modified or are not working properly. 2. Do not leave the protective operators enclosure while operating equipment. Turn off the equipment before exiting the enclosure. 3. Only trained skid steer operators should be allowed to operate equipment. 4. Take care to remove or properly stow items that could interfere with the safe operation of equipment. (e.g., loose clothing, tool belts, etc.)
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Construction-equipment; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Head-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-engineering; Work-operations
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-03OR015; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-021204; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008324
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oregon Department of Human Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division