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A heavy equipment spotter died when he was backed over by a front-end loader inside a trash collection transfer station.

Public Health Institute
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 01CA012, 2002 Sep; :1-6
A 59 year-old male, working as a spotter for heavy equipment inside a trash collection transfer station, died a month after being backed over by a front-end loader. He was directing and controlling traffic and designating dumping areas on the floor inside the structure at the time of the incident. The operator of the front-end loader stated he did not see or hear the victim immediately prior to the incident. He said he last spoke to the victim approximately 2-3 minutes before the incident. The standard operating procedure was to not operate the heavy equipment within 15 feet of spotters, other pedestrians or vehicles. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers, as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) should: 1. Remove all spotters from the floor of transfer stations. 2. Consider using radios to supplement eye contact when communication is needed between the heavy equipment operator, truck drivers, and the spotter. 3. Consider using additional safety devices for heavy equipment to warn workers of a backing vehicle and to warn drivers when someone is in their blind spot.
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; Equipment-operators; Drivers; Truck-drivers; Warning-devices; Warning-signals; Warning-systems
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-01CA012; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division