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Municipal laborer dies after being struck by a motor vehicle while closing a water gate valve - 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 09MA031, 2010 Jun; :1-9
On August 31, 2009 a 35-year-old male municipal laborer (victim) was fatally injured while responding to a water main break. The victim and a co-worker were assigned to close a water main gate valve located in a roadway approximately 900 feet away from the water main break. They positioned their work pickup truck beyond the valve facing the same direction as the flow of traffic. While the victim was using a gate valve wrench to close the valve, the co-worker was reducing water pressure in the system by releasing water at an adjacent fire hydrant. The co-worker heard a crash and turned to see that the victim had been struck by a minivan that also struck the rear of the work pickup truck. The co-worker went to the victim and then placed a call for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and a call to other co-workers. Within minutes EMS and the local police arrived at the incident location and the victim was transported 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 when performing work in roadways 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 roadways by developing temporary traffic control plans that include proper positioning of work vehicles; 3.) Provide work zone safety training for all employees who will be required to complete tasks while in proximity to roadways; 4.) Ensure that each department develops, implements, and enforces a comprehensive health and safety program that includes training on hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions; and 5.) Provide work environments that, at a minimum, meet all relevant Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and industry accepted standards of practice.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Public-utilities; Safety-clothing; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Warning-devices; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; 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-09MA031; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490
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