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 2004-11, 2006 Jun; :1-14
On April 26, 2004, a 26-year-old Hispanic laborer (the victim) was backed over by a flat bed dump truck while working on a roadway work site. The victim drove the truck westward through the work site, while a laborer threw brackets used to secure concrete barriers onto the ground. Once completed, the victim parked the truck and walked to the tailgate area, where he met up with the laborer. The victim and the laborer began walking eastward together, towards the rest of the crew, with the victim walking a few steps in front of the laborer. Two other workers got into the truck to drive to another work site. Prior to leaving, the driver received a radio call that he could not understand. He placed the truck into reverse, to back towards the crew (east) to see what was needed. While walking, the laborer saw a carpenter running, waving his hands and yelling, and simultaneously he got a glimpse of the moving truck on his left side. The laborer jumped to his right and shouted a warning to the victim walking in front of him. After feeling a "thud," the driver stopped. After getting out of the truck, he found the victim lying on the ground and called 911. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded and determined that the victim had multiple injuries and weak vital signs. The victim was transported by ambulance to a hospital, and was pronounced dead in the emergency room. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure that mobile construction vehicles are inspected daily and that defective equipment is reported and removed from service until needed repairs have been made; 2. develop, implement and enforce procedures that minimize exposure of workers on foot to moving vehicles and equipment; 3. ensure backing procedures are in place for the use of mobile construction vehicles and that drivers have communication with workers on foot and use a designated spotter to direct backing; 4. develop and implement specific training for mobile equipment operators and workers on foot regarding driver blind areas on equipment; 5. ensure training meets language(s) and literacy level(s) needs of all the workers; 6. consider installing after market devices (e.g., camera, radar, and sonar) on construction vehicles and equipment to help monitor the presence of workers on foot in blind areas. Additionally, manufacturers of heavy construction vehicles, such as dump trucks, should explore the possibility of incorporating new monitoring technology (e.g., radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and tag readers) to help monitor the presence of workers on foot in blind areas. The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and State OSHA Plans should consider a rulemaking effort to improve the safety regulations and require new safeguards for employees on roadway construction worksites. Although the following recommendation could not have prevented this fatality, NIOSH concluded that as a matter of prudent safe operations, roadway contractors should establish work procedures that eliminate the need for workers to stand in a truck bed of a moving vehicle where they are exposed to potential fall hazards.