NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Bulldozer operator/logger crushed by crawler bulldozer after pulling logging truck from mud on logging road in West Virginia.

West Virginia Department of Health & Human 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 97WV041, 1997 Dec; :1-4
On February 26, 1997, a 56-year-old self-employed male crawler bulldozer operator/logger (the victim) died of injuries sustained when he was run over by right track of a bulldozer. Just before the incident, the victim had used the bulldozer to pull a fully loaded log truck out of the mud. Once the log truck was free and while the bulldozer was running, the victim exited the bulldozer operator's position. The bulldozer, with blade in raised position, accelerator wide open and without a driver, moved in reverse down a slight grade until it rested against the cab of the log truck. Investigative information suggests that because the transmission control safety lever (neutral lock lever) was broken, the operator could not lock the machine into neutral. This allowed the transmission to slip from neutral into reverse causing the bulldozer to move suddenly backwards. Neither the log truck driver, seated in the cab of the log truck nor a logger loading logs nearby saw the incident as they were engaged in other activities at the time. Immediately following the incident, the men responded and saw that the victim had sustained traumatic amputation of the lower extremities and crushing injuries. They called emergency medical services and police for assistance. The local EMS transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The coroner estimated the time from injury to death to be between zero and three minutes. The WV FACE Investigator concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, employers, including the self-employed, should: 1. Ensure that machines used for any operation (e.g. logging operations) are maintained in serviceable condition; 2. Ensure that machines used for any operation (e.g. logging operations) are not left unattended unless all precautions necessary to prevent motion have been taken; 3. Develop, implement, and enforce a written safety program which includes, but is not limited to, training in hazard identification, avoidance, and abatement.
Region-3; 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-operators; Equipment-reliability; Logging-workers; Forestry; Forestry-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-97WV041; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-312914
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division