Snowmobile mechanic dies when he is ejected from snowmobile operator's seat and strikes a tree.
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 01WI011, 2002 Mar; :1-4
A 25-year-old male snowmobile mechanic (the victim) for a snowmobile sales and service company died when he was ejected from the operator's seat and struck a tree. The victim was testing the machine by operating it on a public snowmobile trail, when he apparently hit a snowbank and flew off the seat. He skidded along the trail for almost 100 feet until he hit a tree along the trail's edge. A snowmobiler found the victim next to the tree, and summoned emergency services. The EMS and police responded. The victim was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, employers that use snowmobiles in their business should: 1. Consult with snowmobile manufacturers to determine safe and effective in-shop methods to test snowmobile operations. 2. Develop, implement and enforce a policy for snowmobile operators to run at least one test lap on a trail at a low speed before testing the machine at a higher speed. 3. Develop, implement and enforce a policy to observe speed limits for operating snowmobiles during test drives. 4. Evaluate trails for hazards and eliminate the hazards before running a vehicle on the trail.
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