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A plumber was killed when a skid-steer loader tipped forward and struck him in the head.

Oklahoma State Department of Health
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 05OK011, 2005 Nov; :1-6
A 50-year-old plumber working for a construction company subcontractor died on February 5, 2005 from head trauma he received after being struck in the head by a skid-steer loader that tipped forward. The victim had been installing a section of pipe in the ground next to a newly constructed foundation. The victim was standing in an open-end trench that was 2-feet 9-inches deep and 5-feet 8-inches wide. The victim was placing a PVC sleeve around a cut-off valve while a coworker used a skid-steer loader to backfill with sand. As the skid-steer loader approached the access edge of the trench, the skid-steer loader shifted in the damp/wet dirt and the loader tipped forward. The bucket of the loader struck the victim's head and then pinned his arm between the bucket and the trench wall. The victim's arm was pinned under the loader bucket for approximately 10 minutes until the fire department arrived and freed the victim. He was then transported by helicopter to the hospital and pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that employees are not positioned underneath elevated loads handled by lifting or digging machinery. 2. Develop a written procedure for operating mobile machinery in and around excavations and ensure that operators are adequately trained based upon written procedures and the operator's manual. 3. Ensure that all employees follow written policies and procedures for use of personal protective equipment (PPE). 4. Develop, implement, and enforce written plans and procedures for working safely in trenches and other excavations. 5. Develop written contracts that establish the safety responsibilities and worksite representation of the general contractor and subcontractors.
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; Protective-measures; Training; Equipment-operators; Safety-programs; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Equipment-operators; Plumbers
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-05OK011; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613938; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008342
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division