During the summer of 2003, a 28-year-old employee for a satellite TV company was killed while preparing a vehicle for transport. He was towing an older pickup truck behind his company truck, using a tilt-bed tow dolly. He had already towed the vehicle for a short distance and needed to make final preparations for highway travel. He had just visited and interviewed a man about a job with his company. He then drove to the man's residence to borrow some tools to make the necessary changes to the truck-in-tow. He had mentioned that the truck did not trail well, and he wanted to re-position it on the dolly. When the injury occurred he was working under the truck-in-tow, disconnecting the drive shaft. The straps securing the front wheels to the dolly were disconnected. The automatic transmission was in the park position and the parking brake foot pedal was engaged, but it was found to be defective. There were no wheel chocks or other means to secure the vehicle in place. When he removed the last bolt attaching the drive shaft to the differential, the truck immediately rolled backwards down the ramp and pinned him in the chest area to the ground causing asphyxiation. The other man tried unsuccessfully to push the truck back up the ramp, then ran to his garage to get a floor jack while his wife called 911. He was unable to raise the truck off the victim, and had to wait for rescue to arrive, which took only five minutes. The rescue crew used the Jaws of Life and cribbing to raise the vehicle off the man, but he was declared dead when taken to a helicopter site. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Employers must provide proper safety training for employees who transport company vehicles, including how to safely remove drive shafts on vehicles-in-tow. 2. Employers should provide proper tools and wheel chocks with vehicles that are used to tow other vehicles. 3. Manufacturers of tow dollies should provide reliable locking mechanisms and clear instructions how to safely load, unload, and transport vehicles.
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; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Mechanics; Training; Management-personnel