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Truck driver buried by mulch at town solid waste site.

New York State Department of Health/Health Research Incorporated
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 06NY084, 2007 Mar; :1-6
In September 2006, an adult truck driver employed by a trucking company sustained fatal injuries after being buried by mulch in his trailer at a town solid waste site. At the time of the incident, the victim's tractor trailer was being loaded with mulch. The trailer was equipped with a walking floor unloading system. After the town loader operator deposited one bucket of approximately five cubic yards of mulch into the trailer, he noticed that the trailer door was open and the victim was not in the cab. The operator became concerned and called for help. One town staff member called 911. In the meantime, town workers started digging into the compost pile in the trailer. The temperature of the mulch was approximately 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The police arrived at the site followed by paramedics within minutes after the 911 call was placed. The unconscious victim was uncovered 15 minutes later. The victim was transported to a hospital and subsequently died as a result of the injuries. After the incident, a piece of blue tarp was found in the mulch. It is believed that the victim may have entered the trailer through the trailer door to cover the front section of the walking floor with the tarp to reduce manual sweeping. New York State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NY FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, owners of solid waste facilities should: 1.) develop and enforce a standard safe loading/unloading procedure for both facility personnel and visiting drivers; and 2.) provide frequent training for all facility personnel on the standard safe loading/unloading procedure. In addition, trucking companies should: 3.) develop standard safe trailer cleaning procedures and require all drivers to strictly follow the procedures; and 4.) provide frequent employee training to ensure that the truck drivers understand and follow site specific safety procedures while picking up or delivering cargos at solid waste facilities.
Region-2; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Protective-measures; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-practices; Drivers; Standards; Trucking; Waste-disposal; Waste-disposal-systems; Author Keywords: solid waste facility; tractor trailer; walking floor; truck driver; front end loader; buried by; mulch
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-06NY084; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008474
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New York State Department of Health/Health Research Incorporated
Page last reviewed: October 21, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division