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Logging site heavy equipment operator dies after being pinned by the dozer he was operating 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 03WV022, 2003 Oct; :1-5
On August 13, 2003, a 46-year-old unrestrained male heavy equipment operator (victim) died of injuries sustained when the dozer he was operating slid backwards then rolled down a steep bank landing on top of him. The victim, who was working alone at the time, was constructing a skid road. It appeared that the victim had finished constructing a road parallel to the hillside and then backed down onto the steep hillside below the road. Tracks indicated that as he attempted to go back up the hill, his forward progress ended with the dozer's tracks spinning and digging deep ruts. He then began to back further down the slope. At some point the dozer began to slide backwards until reaching a near vertical grade above a creek. The dozer continued to slide down the steep grade approximately 70 feet until it rolled and landed on its side in the creek. The unrestrained operator was pinned under the rear support member of the dozer's rollover protective structure (ROPS). Later that evening, two acquaintances of the victim became concerned after seeing his car parked on the road above the logging site. They discovered the overturned dozer and the victim pinned beneath and immediately contacted EMS who arrived shortly thereafter. The victim was transported to a medical facility and pronounced dead. The WV FACE investigator concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that machines, including those provided by employees, are maintained in serviceable condition and that available safety devices are used while the equipment is being operated.
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; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Safety-belts; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Road-construction
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-03WV022; 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