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Construction laborer pinned under tire of articulated machine.

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 09MI009, 2011 Jul; :1-10
In the winter of 2009, a 30-year-old male construction laborer was pinned under the tire of an articulating DitchMaster M450 with a front end loader and tree spade attachment that overturned to the side. The decedent's employer had parked the machine, placing the front end loader attachment across a construction trailer tongue and its 2-foot crank hitch with the driver's side front tire against the trailer tongue. The decedent and two coworkers arrived at the worksite and wanted to haul the construction trailer from the worksite. The decedent, against company policy, climbed onto the seat, pulled the Kill switch, and started the machine. The machine stalled, and he started it again. The machine was in first gear. When he applied power, the machine started forward. The front driver's side front tire drove up and over the trailer tongue hitch, puncturing the tire. The machine articulated (bent in on itself), and then overturned. Either the decedent was trying to jump from the machine as it articulated or he was thrown from the machine as it overturned. He was pinned under the machine's rear passenger side tire. His two coworkers attempted to get the machine off of him by placing a car jack at the location of the tire that pinned the decedent and attaching a chain to the loader arm and the pickup truck they arrived in. When they were unable to lift the machine from him, the coworkers called for emergency response. Upon emergency response arrival at the site, his vital signs were absent. Emergency response personnel began the recovery operation. Recommendations: 1. Construction employers should identify all equipment that can articulate and determine if a steering frame articulation lock is present and functional. If a lock is not present, the employer should determine the feasibility of installing such lock; if the lock is not functional, the equipment should not be used until the lock is repaired. 2. Employers should develop and communicate a written safety and health plan that includes the actions an employee should take in an emergency situation. Independent contractors who work for employers need to be given the same information. The employer should require employees to call for emergency assistance immediately upon discovery of the emergency. Recommendations to Emergency Responders: 1. Fire Departments/Emergency responders should request companies to report the type of heavy equipment they have and should include an inventory of such equipment when they perform training program evaluations. In the interim, employers utilizing unusual heavy machinery and/or construction equipment should identify such equipment and send this information to their local emergency responders to assist them in responding to an emergency. 2. Emergency responders should periodically review procedures for implementing a lifting and stabilization plan. 3. Emergency responders should consider utilizing community resources, such as wreckers, to assist with extrications.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Confined-spaces; Control-technology; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Construction-industry; Construction-equipment; Construction-workers; Safety-practices; Safety-equipment; Author Keywords: Articulated construction equipment; lifting plan; stabilization plan; DitchMaster; front-end loader; tree spade; machine
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-09MI009; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466; B11232011
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