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Heavy equipment operator pinned after bulldozer slides off flatbed trailer.

Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
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 99WI041, 2000 Mar; :1-4
A 45-year-old male supervisor (the victim) for an excavation construction company was loading a Caterpillar D4 bulldozer to return it to the company shop when it slid sideways as he pulled it onto a flatbed trailer attached to a truck. The truck and trailer were parked with the right wheels on the sloped shoulder of the road, and the left wheels on the paved surface. Light rain was falling at the time of the incident, and the trailer was wet. The trailer was equipped with two metal and wood ramps that led from the ground to a wooden "beavertail" platform. After one unsuccessful attempt to drive the bulldozer onto the platform, the victim drove up the ramps and partway onto the platform. The tracks of the machine began to slide sideways towards the ditch, and off the trailer. He tried to jump out of the cab, but was pinned beneath the cab structure when it landed on top of him. The victim's wife had accompanied him to the site on the weekend morning when the incident occurred, and witnessed the incident from the passenger seat of the truck cab. She flagged down a passing car to call for help. EMS responders arrived, and elevated the bulldozer with air bags and blocks to remove the victim's body. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, employers and bulldozer operators should: 1. Always use an operator restraint system while operating equipment equipped with rollover protective structures (ROPS). 2. Evaluate the terrain prior to loading track equipment onto a trailer, and plan safe strategies for addressing the hazards. 3. Arrange for a qualified observer to provide verbal or signal directions when loading track equipment onto a trailer.
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; Equipment-reliability; Management-personnel; Supervisory-personnel; Safety-belts; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; 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-99WI041; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507081
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division