A 46-year old male backhoe operator (victim) died after being run over by the front and rear wheels and the front bucket of his Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS)-equipped backhoe at a construction site. The backhoe was positioned with the right rear tire near the top edge of a 10-foot high slope with the front of the backhoe and its wheels angled to the left, away from the slope. The victim straightened the front wheels and was moving the backhoe forward after completing a section of the trench. The left front wheel of his backhoe struck a rock which caused it to bounce. In attempting to regain steering control, the operator accidentally put the backhoe in reverse. When the rear wheel of the backhoe hit the previously dug trench, it bounced and the operator decided to jump out. The victim tried to jump toward the high side of the slope but rolled and slid down to the bottom of the slope. The backhoe, still traveling backward, came down the slope and ran over him with the left rear tire, then the left front tire and finally the front bucket which was in the lowered position. The operator had been wearing his seatbelt, but took it off when he decided to jump out. The CA/FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers should: 1. Assure that ROPS-equipped backhoe operators stay in their machines, with their seatbelts fastened, when the backhoe seems in danger of rolling over. 2. Ensure that all obstacles, such as large rocks, are removed from the intended path of machinery in operation. Manufacturers should: 3. Design the shifting lever of backhoes so that a deliberate action is necessary to shift the machine in and out of gear.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Safety-belts; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Equipment-operators