On May 20, 2004, a 63-year-old heavy equipment operator was crushed between two compaction vehicles in a road construction work zone. Prior to the incident, the decedent and his co-workers were in the process of laying an open stretch of county road and were preparing for the compaction of materials from a chipper and oil dispersion unit. After positioning their compaction units to begin the operation, the decedent and two other compactor drivers dismounted their parked vehicles. While waiting for road oil, the decedent walked between two of the parked compactors in search of a secluded area to use the restroom. While the victim was between the two vehicles, a dump truck was backing up into position. The dump truck driver, who was only using the driver's side rear view mirror, hit one of the compactors, pushing it into the other compactor and crushing the victim. The parking brake was not functioning on the compactor that was struck. Seeing and hearing the compactors hit, the decedent's co-workers immediately freed the victim and called for emergency help. The victim was transported to the nearest medical facility where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Develop and implement written, standardized procedures for backing and maneuvering in work zones, particularly where sight distance is limited, adequate maneuvering space is restricted, or pedestrian traffic is present. 2. Consider the use of a spotter when backing trucks in a work zone. 3. Develop and implement written, standardized procedures involving the hazards of walking, standing, or working near any type of mobile heavy equipment. 4. Ensure that all equipment is functioning properly and has the required safety features in place. 5. Require all workers to wear the required personal protective equipment appropriate for the job task and work environment.
Region-6; 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; Training; Equipment-operators; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Road-construction; Equipment-reliability; Warning-signals; Warning-signs; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-clothing; Protective-equipment