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A rear load helper, for a refuse collection company in Texas, died when he was crushed by the rear wheels of a refuse collection vehicle.

Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
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 98TX112, 1999 Jan; :1-5
On March 2, 1998, a 62-year-old rear load helper (the victim) died when he was crushed by the rear wheels of a refuse collection vehicle. The victim and the driver of the vehicle had been picking up trash along their assigned route. On the particular street where the incident occurred, there were only four locations where trash had to be picked up. The driver backed down the street as he was originally trained to do. One of these locations had an excessive amount of trash. The driver decided to reposition the vehicle so the rear of the vehicle was as close to the pile as possible. The driver watched the victim step down from the vehicle from in his right side mirror. The driver pulled forward to the right, then backed up. As the driver backed the vehicle, the right rear wheels rolled over and crushed the victim. The driver was unaware of the victims location and the back-up alarm had been disconnected. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The TX FACE investigator concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, employers should: 1. monitor employees' operation of vehicles and take appropriate action to ensure proper operation of vehicles or equipment which includes safe backing practices. 2. Develop a system of successively heavier penalties for violation of safe work practices. 3. Train drivers and collectors (rear-load helpers) on the procedures outlined in the NIOSH Alert, Preventing Worker Injuries and Deaths From Moving Refuse Collection Vehicles and also include the National Solid Waste Management Association (NSWMA) Manual of Recommended Safety Practices (NSWMA 1988).
Region-6; 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; Drivers; Training; Warning-devices; Truck-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-98TX112; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613936
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
Page last reviewed: January 28, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division