A 52-year-old male front-end loader operator (the victim) died after the loader he was driving went off the edge of a 40-foot high access roadway and landed on its side on a stone quarry floor. The loader cab was equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS). Operator seatbelts had been installed about five years ago, but it is unknown if the victim was wearing the belt at the time of the incident. The loader had undergone brake and tire repair on the days preceding the incident, and was scheduled for additional brake maintenance. The victim lost control of the empty loader as he was driving from the upper rim of the quarry to the quarry floor where trucks were waiting to be filled with crushed stone. The loader went through a low rock berm guarding the edge of the access road, overturned as it plunged down the quarry wall and landed on its left side. A worker from another company saw the loader falling down the embankment, and ran to the site. He found the victim out of the operator's seat, which was bent forward on its hinges, with his face pushed against the cab frame. The victim was breathing, but unresponsive. Another worker called 911, and EMS workers were at the scene within thirteen minutes. The victim was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that all frontend loader safety equipment, including brakes, is checked for proper operation before each shift and that malfunctioning equipment is removed from service until it is repaired. 2. Inspect all equipment used where a potential for rollover exists and ensure that operator seats and seatbelts are adequately secured to the vehicle frame. 3. Designate a competent person to conduct regular safety inspections.
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; Safety-programs; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Safety-personnel; Safety-belts