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Career lieutenant dies from injuries received after vehicle undergoing maintenance crushes him - Massachusetts.

Wertman SC
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 F2011-19, 2011 Nov; :1-21
On July 29, 2011, a 53-year-old career lieutenant (the victim) died from injuries he received after a vehicle he was performing maintenance on crushed him. The victim had lifted the vehicle with a portable floor jack. While on a creeper, the victim positioned himself under the vehicle and was preparing to remove the oil drain plug when the vehicle came down on him. Fire fighters within the station came to check on the victim and discovered that the jack was no longer supporting the vehicle and the victim was motionless under the vehicle. The fire fighters quickly repositioned the jack and attempted to raise the vehicle but the jack failed to support the vehicle's weight. The fire fighters had to use hydraulic spreaders to raise the vehicle off of the victim. The victim later died at the hospital from injuries sustained during the incident. Contributing Factors: 1.) Use of hydraulic floor jack as sole means of supporting the vehicle; 2.) Working alone; 3.) No established preventive maintenance program. Key Recommendations: 1.) Ensure that vehicles are adequately supported while personnel are performing maintenance underneath and that vehicles are protected against inadvertent movement; 2.) Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive preventive maintenance program that includes safe work practices. Additionally, fire departments and/or municipalities (federal, state, and local) should: 1.) Consider establishing a centralized fleet maintenance facility responsible for all preventive maintenance of all public service vehicles operating within their jurisdiction being sure to develop, implement, and enforce policies/procedures that outline safe work practices during vehicle maintenance.
Region-2; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Fire-fighters; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Motor-vehicles; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Work-analysis; Worker-motivation; Work-performance; Work-practices; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
Identifying No.
FACE-F2011-19; B12212011
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division