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Heavy equipment operator killed when pinned under a backhoe tire.

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 98NJ082, 1999 Aug; :1-5
On September 15, 1998, a 31-year-old heavy equipment operator was killed when he was caught under the wheel of a backhoe that he was servicing. The incident occurred outside a condominium complex where the victim was clearing and grading a drainage retention pond. As he was working, the left front wheel of the backhoe loosened and came off. Before fixing the wheel, the victim and his coworker left the site, reporting the problem to the employer when they met during lunch. The two workers returned to work on the machine. Planning to lift the wheel by digging the backhoe's front bucket down against the ground, the victim stood by the side of the machine and reached in to turn on the ignition. The backhoe was in gear and immediately lurched forward, striking the victim and pulling him under the rear tire. A police chief was also injured during an attempt to move the backhoe. Despite rescue efforts to lift the backhoe with a larger front end loader, the victim was asphyxiated and died at the scene. To prevent similar incidents in the future, NJ FACE recommends the following safety guidelines: 1. Employers should ensure that heavy equipment operators are properly trained before using the machines. 2. Employers should frequently inspect construction equipment to ensure that all operational controls and safety devices are in good working order. 3. Employers should become familiar with available resources on safety standards and safe work practices.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Region-2; Machine-operators; Machine-operation; Occupational-accidents; Equipment-operators
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-98NJ082; 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