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DPW worker run over by pickup truck exiting the vehicle to open an overhead garage door.

Michigan State University
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 03MI025, 2004 Feb; :1-5
On March 5, 2003, a 62-year old male Department of Public Works (DPW) employee was run over by a 3/4-ton pickup truck equipped with a snowplow that he had stopped and was exiting. He drove the truck to the front of an overhead garage door on a snow and ice covered, unsalted blacktop apron that extended 10-feet in front of the overhead garage door. He was exiting the truck to open the overhead garage door. An automatic garage door opener was located inside the pedestrian entrance door located adjacent to the overhead door. It appears that the victim thought he had placed the truck in Park; it is unknown if he applied the parking brake prior to exiting. It is unknown if he completely exited the truck when the truck began to move in reverse. Footprints in the snow indicated he used his right foot to try to re-enter the truck. There were no footprints of his left foot leading to the conjecture that his left foot was in the truck. According to the city police chief, his first footprint was approximately six yards from the overhead door and was repeated three times. He placed the front half of the right foot on the ground. The impression in the snow indicated his foot slid to the right and back. It appears that he lost his balance, fell, and was run over by the truck. He was rolled by the truck undercarriage then struck by the plow. The truck continued in reverse and struck the garage wall. People across the street noticed the truck at the side of the garage and went to investigate. Seeing the victim in the snow, one of the individuals contacted the police who called 911. Emergency response arrived and the victim was declared dead at a local hospital. Recommendations: 1. Department of Public Works (DPW) standard operating procedures should address who and when snow/ice should be cleared from DPW pedestrian walkways and parking areas. 2. The Department of Public Works should explore assigning each operator or equip each vehicle with a remote garage door opener for the overhead door. 3. The Department of Public Works should develop a standard operating procedure for vehicle operations, including lowering any vehicle attachment to ground level prior to exiting, starting/stopping vehicles, etc. 4. Employees should be instructed never to try to stop a moving vehicle.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Truck-drivers; 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-03MI025; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division