A 26 year old Oilfield Service roustabout died from injuries received when a trenching machine tipped over onto him, crushing his chest and pushing him into an embankment where his head struck a large rock. A work crew was transporting a trenching machine up a 14% to 20% grade on a newly cut, ungravelled roadway, to place a pit liner in a new well pit. The loaded truck couldn't pull the steep grade, so they unloaded the trencher 1/2 mile from the pit, and began driving it up on its own power. A worker who was thought to have potential as a future driver was at the controls and the victim, who was an experienced driver, was riding beside him while the new driver learned the operation. The driver shifted gears, unintentionally placing the machine in neutral, and it started to roll backwards. The victim touched the gearshift lever to instruct the driver to correct the error when he lost his balance and fell from the machine, which rolled over him. As the machine rolled backwards, the front blade pushed him against an embankment where his head struck a rock. Emergency services were called, but by the time they arrived, the victim had died. Employers may be able to minimize the potential for occurrence of this type of incident through the following precautions: 1. Inexperienced drivers should receive on-the-job training in non-hazardous situations and not be exposed to life-threatening experiences while training. 2. Workers should avoid riding on moving machinery where they can communicate with the driver. 3. Employees working around machinery in hazardous areas should be positioned in such a way as to assure an escape route in case of unexpected movement.
Region-8; 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; Oil-industry; Machine-operators; Training; Drivers