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Refuse collector was fatally injured when struck by a backing refuse collection truck - 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 11MA019, 2013 Feb; :1-7
On July 12, 2011 a 28-year-old male refuse collector (victim) was fatally injured when he was struck by a backing refuse collection truck. The victim had just finished stopping traffic on a main roadway to allow the truck to back down a dead-end side street. After stopping traffic, the victim ran along the driver's side of the backing truck and then stepped behind the truck to climb onto the loading sill section of the hopper. While climbing onto the truck, he slipped off the truck, fell to the ground and then was struck by the driver's side rear wheels. When the victim fell, the two co-workers, who were standing on the truck's rear riding steps, yelled stop multiple times and the truck driver stopped the truck. Multiple co-workers called for emergency medical services (EMS). Personnel from the local and state police departments, fire department and EMS all arrived within minutes of the calls. The victim was pronounced dead at the incident location. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Ensure that employees never climb onto a refuse collection truck, including the rear loading sill and riding steps, while the truck is backing; 2. Develop, implement and enforce backing procedures that includes designated spotters to direct backing trucks and prohibits employees from being located behind backing trucks; 3. Provide and ensure that employees wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including high visibility vests when working along roadways; and 4. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety and health program that addresses hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions. In addition, municipalities should: 1. Consider the feasibility of implementing automated processes for residential refuse collection.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Warning-devices; Warning-signs; Warning-systems; Work-environment; Work-operations
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-11MA019; 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