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Worker dies after being pinned between wheel and bed of flat-bed trailer.

Minnesota 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 02MN002, 2002 Aug; :1-4
A 54-year-old male worker (victim) died when he was crushed between a wheel of a flat-bed trailer and the bed of the trailer. The victim and his brother were working on the dual axle trailer while it was parked on a concrete floor. The front of the trailer was supported by two stands located at the front of the trailer. A payloader equipped with a bucket was used to lift the back end of the trailer. The trailer's front axle was attached to two leaf springs. The ends of the leaf springs were attached to the trailer's frame with metal pins. Prior to raising the back end of the trailer, the pins holding the back end of the front axle's springs were removed. When the back end of the trailer was raised, the front axle swung forward and hung from the pins at the front end of the leaf springs. After completing the repair work, a chain was hooked to the end of one of the front axle's leaf spring that was near the floor. The victim was to pull on the chain to swing the front axle toward the rear of the trailer as the payloader bucket was lowered. As the back end of the trailer was being lowered, the chain apparently unhooked from the leaf spring. The victim crouched between the wheels of the trailer to rehook the chain without signaling to his brother to stop lowering the trailer. While the victim was between the wheels, the trailer suddenly slid forward and the back end fell from the payloader bucket. The victim was pinned between the top of the front axle wheel and the frame/bed of the trailer. After the trailer fell, the victim's brother exited the payloader and found his brother pinned between the trailer and the wheel. He returned to the payloader and raised the back end of the trailer. After raising it, he removed the victim and laid him on the concrete floor. He placed a call to emergency personnel who arrived shortly after being notified. They examined the victim and pronounced him dead at the scene. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. workers should only use machines and equipment for tasks for which they were intended and designed; and 2. workers should maintain visual contact, either directly or indirectly via other workers, whenever the actions of one worker may directly impact the health and safety of any other coworkers.
Region-5; 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; Automobile-repair-shops; Mechanics
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-02MN002; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division