On January 13th, 2004 a 42 year-old male machine operator, who was hired by a liquid deicer distributing company as a subcontractor, sustained fatal injuries as a result of being run over by a front-end loader. On the day of the incident, the victim was providing customer service at a municipal rock salt stockyard that belonged to a city Department of General Services (DGS). The service included delivering the deicer to the site and operating a conveyer mixing system (a stacking conveyer or a "stacker") to treat the salt with the deicer. Four DGS equipment operators (EOs), who worked from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., operated front-end loaders to feed salt into the stacking conveyer and transport the treated salt into a storage shed. Witnesses reported seeing the victim walking in and around the loader working area throughout the day, performing conveyer maintenance and talking with the EOs. At 3:00 p.m., two EOs left for the day and a fifth EO (Operator A) took over one of the loaders and continued transporting the treated salt into the shed. The victim was last seen by Operator A standing between the two salt piles approximately 15 minutes before the incident. At approximately 3:50 p.m., Operator A began backing the loader out of the shed. The backup alarm and strobe warning lights on the loader were working, but the two exterior side-rearview mirrors had been broken off. Operator A stated that he looked back, left and right before backing and did not see the victim in his path. As he backed along the side of the treated salt pile, he felt the loader rocking as if it ran over a pile of salt. He immediately stopped the loader and saw the victim under the left front tire. He pulled the loader forward to get the tire off the victim, got out of the cab, and called 911 on his cell phone. EMS responded to the site in five minutes. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. New York State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NYS FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar incidents from occurring, employers should: 1. Design and implement measures for personnel on foot to communicate with mobile equipment operators and provide immediate employee training in communication procedures; 2. Repair damaged equipment in a timely manner; 3. Consider using additional backup safety devices on heavy equipment to warn operators when someone is in their blind spot; 4. Develop and enforce a policy that requires all employees and on-site contractors to wear high visibility safety vests; 5. Develop a standard procedure to inform on-site contractors of potential safety hazards and precautionary measures; 6. Establish a safety and health management system that is responsible for implementing a comprehensive occupational safety and health program; Additionally, distributing companies should: 7. Develop effective measures and provide training to ensure the safety of workers and subcontractors who provide services at clients' sites; 8. Modify equipment to reduce maintenance during operation so operators can avoid entering loader working areas.
Region-2; 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; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Training; Work-clothing; Safety-clothing; Health-programs; Safety-programs; Machine-operation; Machine-operators