NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Equipment operator killed when tree trunk crashes through window of excavator.

New Jersey Department of Health
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 98NJ018, 1998 Sep; :1-9
On February 18, 1998, a 30 year-old department of public works employee died when he was struck by a section of a tree trunk that crashed through the window of the excavator he was operating. A three-man crew was attempting to clear debris out of their path in order to reach a stream. As the operator lifted the tree off the ground, it slipped off the excavator bucket, broke through the front windshield, and pushed against the hand controls. Since the cab of the excavator was rotated, the track control levers essentially worked in reverse. The tree trunk pushed against the controls, causing the excavator to move forward against the trunk. The victim was pushed from the operator's seat into the rear window. FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar incidents, the following safety guidelines should be followed: 1. The manufacturer's instructions should be followed when using the excavator to lift heavy objects. 2. The employer should conduct a job hazard analysis; policies and training should be implemented based upon the findings of the evaluation.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-2; Work-practices; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Training; Equipment-operators; Motor-vehicles
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-98NJ018; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division