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A municipal worker struck by a motor vehicle while patching a pothole - Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Department of Public 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 06MA027, 2007 Dec; :1-11
On June 23, 2006, a 39-year-old male municipal utility worker (victim) was fatally injured while patching a pothole located at an edge of a roadway. After receiving a call about the pothole, which formed during a rain storm, the victim retrieved a backhoe, loaded its bucket with cold patch, and drove the backhoe to the pothole's location. The victim was standing in front of the backhoe's bucket while filling the pothole when he was struck head on by a minivan, crushing him between the backhoe's bucket and the minivan. A call was placed to the local police department by the operator of the minivan. The local police and fire departments and emergency medical services (EMS) arrived within minutes. EMS transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, municipalities should: 1. Ensure that work zones are set up, at a minimum, in accordance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), Part 6, developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration; 2. Ensure that employees' exposure to moving traffic is minimized when working in and around streets and highways by developing temporary traffic control plans; 3. Provide and ensure that employees wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including high visibility vests when working along roadways; 4. Develop, implement and enforce a buddy system for employees working in roadways and around moving equipment; 5. Develop, implement, and enforce equipment maintenance programs that include scheduled preventive maintenance and timely repairs to equipment; 6. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program that includes training on hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions; 7. Provide work environments that, at a minimum, meet all relevant Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and industry accepted standards of practice; and 8. Consider the feasibility of purchasing and using automated machines for filling of potholes.
Region-1; 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; Training; Warning-devices; Warning-signals; Warning-systems; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-clothing; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Work-areas; Work-clothing; Work-practices; Equipment-reliability; Motor-vehicles
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-06MA027; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division