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Deaths Due to Being Struck-By a Vehicle

Case Reports

The following Case Reports of vehicle accidents investigated by OSHA illustrate how seemingly innocent workplace activities can have deadly consequences.

  • An employee was operating a bulldozer at the top edge of a sloped drainage ditch. The bulldozer began to slide down the side of the snow and ice covered excavation, tipped over on its side, and pinned the operator under the roll bars. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

  • A contractor was operating a backhoe when an employee attempted to walk between the swinging superstructure of the backhoe and a concrete wall. As the employee approached from the operator's blind side, the superstructure hit the victim, crushing him against the wall. Employees had not been trained in safe work practices, and no barricades had been erected to prevent employee access to a hazardous area.

  • A safety "over travel" cable attached between the frame and the dump box of a dump truck caught on a protruding nut of an airbrake cylinder. This prevented the dump box from being fully raised. The driver, apparently assuming that releasing the cable would allow the dump box to continue upward, reached over the frame and disengaged the cable with his right hand. The dump box then dropped suddenly, crushing his head.

  • A worker was driving a front-end loader up a dirt ramp onto a lowboy trailer. The tractor was not centered and the tread slipped off the trailer. When the tractor began to tip, the operator jumped from the cab. As he hit the ground, the tractor's rollover protective structure fell on top of him, crushing him. The tractor was not equipped with seatbelts.

  • A worker was cutting concrete along the white center line on a four-lane highway. Orange reflective barrels closed the left lane to traffic, which was routed to a single lane from approximately 8 miles. To accommodate the worker, three to four barrels had been moved into the active traffic lane, and a flagperson was slowing down traffic and directing it slightly onto the berm area. An approaching semi-tractor and trailer rig were exceeding the speed limit when the driver hit the guardrail and lost control of his vehicle. The tractor and trailer bounced back through the barrels and struck the worker from behind, killing him.

  • While acting as a flagger on a highway construction project, an employee was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle that failed to stop after being directed to do so.
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