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Hispanic butcher dies after being struck by semi-trailer gate.

Wisconsin Department of Health & Family 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 05WI001, 2006 Aug; :1-7
On March 1, 2005, a 32-year-old Hispanic butcher (the victim) was struck by the rear gate of a semi trailer dump truck. The crew consisted of the victim and his Hispanic co-worker, the Bobcat operator. The victim entered the semi-trailer to put a chain on a dead cow and the Bobcat operator dragged the dead cow off the semi-trailer using a Bobcat (skid steer) industrial truck. The procedure for chaining dead cows was repeated until the trailer was empty. While Spanish was the victim's primary language, the victim understood limited English. He could not write or speak English fluently. Spanish was also the Bobcat operator's primary language. In performing the duties of his job, the victim walked into the semi-trailer under the raised gate of the semi trailer. The victim was exposed to a crushing hazard of the gate each time he entered and exited the trailer. The semi trailer gate was unlatched and moved back to the loading dock. A wire sling was placed around the locking pins on each side of the semi trailer gate and the gate was raised by using the Bobcat. The gate was maintained in a raised position by the wire sling attached to the semi trailer locking pins and to the attachment point above the door, but there was nothing in place that prevented the slings from slipping off of the locking pins nor was the door blocked open. At the time of the incident, the wire sling slipped off of the pins causing the gate to fall down and the victim was crushed by it. Co-workers found the victim between the gate and the end of the trailer. Four co-workers raised the gate and removed the victim. Management of the company called 911 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at 2:34 p.m. The first responder was the deputy sheriff arriving at 2:37 p.m. The ambulance crew performed CPR and transported the victim to the local hospital. The victim was pronounced dead at 3:26 p.m. The distance from the scene of the accident to the hospital was approximately 20 miles. FACE investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrence, employers should: 1. develop, implement, and enforce an effective Lockout/Tagout procedure that addresses the hazards of gravity support of the semi-trailer tailgate; 2. ensure that a comprehensive written safety and health program is established that includes training in hazard recognition and procedures that eliminate hazards; 3. ensure that all workers who are part of the multi-lingual work force comprehend and follow training instructions in safe work procedures for all tasks to which they are assigned.
Region-5; 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; Safety-programs; Training; Motor-vehicles; Meat-handlers; Meat-packing-industry; Warehousing
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-05WI001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507081
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division