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Towman crushed to death while hooking up disabled propane truck.

Iowa Department of Public Health
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 01IA002, 2001 Jul; :1-3
A 59-year-old owner of a towing company with a lifetime of experience was killed when he was pinned between a disabled propane truck and his tow truck. The propane truck had broken down after making a delivery to a private rural residence, and was parked on a sloping farm driveway, which was 100% snow and ice covered. The brakes were set, transmission put in gear, and a block was put in front of the left rear dual tires. The tow truck arrived to remove the vehicle, and the operator (victim) was under the front end of the propane truck, trying to position the forks of the T-bar to connect the axle of the disabled truck. Suddenly, the propane truck slid forward on the ice and crushed the towman against the T-bar (stinger) of the tow truck. The man died instantly from crushing chest injuries. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Disabled vehicles should be secured safely before connecting them to a tow truck. 2. Operators of tow trucks should exercise caution when working between a disabled vehicle and their tow truck. 3. Mechanical solutions should be developed to avoid crushing injuries between a disabled vehicle and a tow truck.
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; Truck-drivers; Drivers
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-01IA002; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division