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Backhoe bucket crushes worker in trench.

Nebraska Department of Labor
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 97NE041, 1998 Jan; :1-3
A 39-year-old laborer was killed when he was crushed by the bucket of a backhoe being operated by his supervisor. The victim and his supervisor (the backhoe operator) were in the process of digging a sewer line trench when the incident occurred. The victim was standing in one end of a 7 foot deep trench which was approximately 20 feet long and 30 inches wide. The backhoe was positioned at ground level at the same end of the trench where the victim was standing. The backhoe operator scooped the bucket in the trench to dig some more and when he pulled the bucket up, he noted the victim was in the bucket. He lowered the bucket and had someone immediately call 911. When rescue personnel arrived they determined the victim was deceased. The Nebraska Department of Labor investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences employers should: 1. Ensure all personnel operating machinery in a trench are constantly aware of the location of personnel working in and around a trench. 2. Ensure personnel are never permitted underneath loads handled by lifting or digging equipment. 3. Develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive safety program that includes, but is not limited to, training in all hazard recognition and proper trenching procedures.
Region-7; 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; Safety-programs; Equipment-operators; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers
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-97NE041; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-709864
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Nebraska Department of Labor
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division