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Air museum volunteer died from complications of a head injury sustained after falling from an aircraft tug.

Michigan State University
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 08MI169, 2010 Jan; :1-9
In the late summer of 2008, a 70-year-old male air museum volunteer died from complications of a head injury sustained when he fell from an aircraft tug. He was the crew leader of a three-person ramp crew. The tug was traveling westerly at below five miles per hour toward an airport taxiway. The tug had a front seat designed to accommodate two individuals. The decedent was positioned on the back of the tug in an area behind the front seat that was designed for equipment storage. He was in a squat position with his right side against the seat frame. He held on to the seat frame to maintain his position. The decedent was wearing a baseball cap. It is postulated that a gust of wind began to blow the cap off of his head. In his attempt to keep his cap, the decedent released his hands from the seat frame, stood up and reached for it as it blew off. He lost his balance and fell to the tarmac on the driver's side of the tug. The tug stopped immediately and radioed for assistance. Emergency response personnel were on scene within one minute. They initiated treatment, and then the decedent was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital. He died eight days later from complications of the head injury sustained at the time of the fall. Recommendations: 1.) Air museum staff should update the Ramp Crew Safety Manual to: 2.) Adopt a "No Seat - No Rider" policy, 3.) Comply with requirements of MIOSHA General Industry Safety and Health Standard, Powered Industrial Trucks, Part 21 and, Include industry best practices. 4.) Volunteer organizations, such as this air museum, should develop and implement a safety and health program that includes a safety policy, safe work practices and procedures, hazard assessment, volunteer training, and checklists to assist all members in the safe performance of their duties.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Clothing; Equipment-design; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-accidents; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Training; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-practices
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-08MI169; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division