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Mechanic killed by excavator bucket during maintenance.

Oregon Department of Human Services
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 08OR001, 2012 Sep; :1-8
A 47-year-old mechanic was killed by an excavator bucket during a maintenance operation. The conveyor on a portable rock crusher had stopped working, and the mechanic and equipment operators were working to raise the conveyor with the arm of a hydraulic excavator to get underneath. The mechanic stood on the conveyor, 15 feet above the ground, to complete the task of rigging a chain to attach the frame of the conveyor to the lifting eye on the excavator bucket - when the excavator boom suddenly dropped and swung, and crushed him. The excavator operator had leaned forward for a better view of the mechanic working at the bucket, and when sitting back down the pocket of his raincoat caught on the left-side control handle for the boom, and activated it. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Loose clothing should be avoided when operating machinery and all tools/equipment should be stored outside the cab. 2. Eliminate or reduce worker exposure to hazards by installing or purchasing equipment with protective features, such as "quick connects" or built-in anchor points, 3. To aid in hazard identification and correction, employers should conduct and document workplace hazard assessments to include all job tasks, including maintenance, and ensure safe work procedures are followed. 4. Use a dedicated signal-person in complex and limited sight lifts/picks. 5. During lifting operations, individuals working near the point of operation should reposition themselves away from pinch points and the potential swing pivot area of machinery. 6. Employers should ensure that workers are trained to perform best safety practices in each role during lifting operations with heavy machinery, including machine operators, signal-persons, and riggers.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-education; Work-operations; Machine-operation; Work-practices; Safety-practices
Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) Program, Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park, L606, Portland, OR 97239-3098
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-08OR001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008472; B20121218D
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Services, Portland, Oregon
Page last reviewed: December 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division