Volunteer lieutenant dies after falling from a bridge while attending to a motor vehicle crash - Arkansas.
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 F2007-31 2009 Oct; :1-13
On Friday, August 10, 2007, a 39-year-old male volunteer lieutenant fell to his death from an interstate highway bridge while attempting to provide assistance at the scene of a single motor vehicle crash. The crash occurred during the darkness of the early morning hours and the vehicle involved had come to rest against the interstate highway bridge sidewall that bordered the westbound passing lane. The ignition remained in the on position after impact and fluids were leaking onto the roadway. While attempting to remove the keys from the ignition, the victim lost his balance and fell over the bridge sidewall landing approximately 40 feet below the bridge. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the county coroner. Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include fall hazards created by the low sidewall height of roadway bridges and overpasses and possible distorted situational awareness caused by the glare from incident scene lighting. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. ensure that a thorough scene size-up is conducted at all roadway incidents and that risks are assessed and managed throughout the incident; 2. develop, implement, train on, and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) for working near highway bridges and overpasses that include guidance on mitigating fall hazards created by low sidewall height; 3. develop, implement, train on, and enforce standard operating procedures regarding emergency operations for motor vehicle crashes that include procedures to address the possibility of distorted situational awareness caused by the glare from incident scene lighting; 4. develop, implement, train on, and enforce standard operating procedures for mitigating motor vehicle crash hazards caused by fuel spills.
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