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OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins
Employees' Exposure to Possible Pinch Point Hazard on Certain Models of Bobcat Skid-Steer Loaders Equipped with Either Loader or Backhoe Attachments Manufactured by the Melroe Company


August 6, 1993

MEMORANDUM FOR:

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

THROUGH:

  • LEO CAREY
  • Director
  • Office of Field Programs

FROM:

  • PATRICIA K. CLARK
  • Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support

SUBJECT:

  • Hazard Information Bulletin1: Employees' Exposure to Possible Pinch Point Hazard on Certain Models of Bobcat Skid-Steer Loaders Equipped with Either Loader or Backhoe Attachments Manufactured by the Melroe Company


The Atlanta Regional Office has brought to our attention a serious safety hazard involving certain models of Bobcat skid-steer loaders. A fatality occurred when a worker was caught between the bucket and the front portion of the operator's cage on a Bobcat Model 7753 skid-steer loader while driving the loader onto a trailer.

The Area Office investigation concluded that the worker stood in front of the Bobcat's cage area, when the fatal accident occurred. As the worker got up from the seat, his left foot contacted the bottom edge of the pedal interlock causing the pedal interlock to unlock itself. This action also activated the foot control causing the bucket to rise. The worker's neck was then caught between the bucket and the operator's protective cage.

Access to the Bobcat cab is through the front between the lift arms. Located inside the cab are the hand and foot controls which operate the loader and the lift arms. Bobcat loaders are equipped with a safety system consisting of a seat bar connected to interlocks on the pedals. In order for the loader to function, the operator is required to be in the seat with the seat bar lowered across the lap. In this position the pedal interlocks are released, allowing the pedals to operate freely.

Tests at the site revealed that, under certain conditions, the seat bar interlock system could be defeated by simultaneously raising the seat bar (as when standing) and depressing the left pedal. Under these conditions the bucket can be elevated to its full height in one and one-half seconds, at full throttle. This accidental activation can trap the operator between the bucket and the cab, resulting in serious injury or death. Similar accidents are also possible when a backhoe attachment is employed.

The loader manufacturer, Melroe Company, a unit of Clark Equipment Company is aware of the safety hazard and has taken action by issuing safety notices identifying the models affected and notifying both owners and dealers of corrective action necessary to prevent the condition from occurring. Dealers will perform the corrective modification at no cost to the owners. (Copy of notices attached.)

Compliance and consultation personnel should be aware of the potentially serious hazard of certain models of Bobcat loaders (listed on the manufacturer's safety notice.) If these models are encountered during inspections or visits, advise the employer and operator of the hazard and the necessary corrective actions.

Please distribute this bulletin to all Area Offices, State Plan States, Consultation Projects, and appropriate local labor and trade organizations.

Attachments

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE PLEASE READ IMMEDIATELY

Dear Bobcat Loader Owner:

Our records indicate that you purchased a Melroe Bobcat skid-steer loader model ________________, serial number ___________________. That skid-steer loader is the subject of this Safety Notice.

THIS IS A SAFETY NOTICE TO WARN YOU OF TWO SERIOUS SAFETY CONCERNS WITH THE SEAT BAR "PEDAL INTERLOCKS" ON YOUR SKID-STEER LOADER.* THIS NOTICE APPLIES TO YOUR SKID-STEER LOADER LISTED ABOVE AND TO ALL MODEL 853, 753, 7753 LOADERS, TO ALL MODEL 742B LOADERS WITH A "50 SERIES" TRANSMISSION (SERIAL NUMBERS 18001-18134) AND TO ALL MODEL 743B LOADERS WITH A "50 SERIES" TRANSMISSION (SERIAL NUMBERS 18001-18869).

THIS NOTICE CONTAINS CORRECTIVE INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS, WHICH REQUIRE YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. IN ADDITION, YOUR BOBCAT DEALER WILL CONTACT YOU SOON SO THAT HE CAN CORRECT THESE CONDITIONS ON YOUR MACHINE. MELROE URGES YOU TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION AND WARN ALL OPERATORS AND SERVICE PERSONNEL OF AFFECTED SKID-STEER LOADER MODELS ABOUT THE INFORMATION IN THIS SAFETY NOTICE.

The Seat Bar system on your Bobcat skid-steer loader contains "pedal interlocks" which require the operator to lower the Seat Bar before using the machine. Melroe Company has become aware of two different conditions which can prevent the Seat Bar "pedal interlocks" from locking the lift and tilt pedals when the operator raises the Seat Bar. If either or both of these conditions exists on the machine, and the operator disregards the loader's warnings and instructions by failing to stop the engine before he leaves the operator's seat, he can accidentally activate the lift or tilt pedals. This accidental pedal activation may unexpectedly trap the operator between the cab and the raised lift arms or backhoe attachment, as depicted in the illustrations below, causing serious injury or death.

The two conditions which can prevent the Seat Bar pedal interlocks from locking the lift and tilt pedals when the operator raises the Seat Bar are:

First Condition: Accidental Foot Contact With Pedal Interlock (affects only Models 853, 753, 7753)

When the operator moves his left or right foot back to the heel rest behind the lift or tilt pedal, the side of his foot can contact the bottom edge of the pedal interlock. The force of this contact can prevent the spring loaded pedal interlock from raising to lock the pedals when the operator raises the Seat Bar. It is also possible that if the operator places his foot on the heel rest and starts to lean forward or leave the operator's seat, the side of his foot can rotate forward and depress the bottom edge of the pedal interlock. This causes the pedal interlock to unlock itself, even though the operator has already raised the Seat Bar. (See Figure A "Overhead View of Pedal Area" included in paper copy of Hazard Information Bulletin).

Second Condition: Transmission Cover Shifting

Your Bobcat skid-steer loader has three (3) transmission covers that allow access to the transmission components. The center cover (rear cover on Models 742B and 743B with "50 Series" style transmissions) also serves as a pivot point for the lift arm pedal linkage. Melroe Company has determined that if the self-tapping bolts securing the cover are not tight, the transmission cover can gradually shift. This movement can cause the lift arm pedal interlock (on the left side only) to become misaligned with the lift pedal linkage. This misalignment can prevent the pedal interlock from locking the lift pedal when the operator raises the Seat Bar. (See Figure B "Interlock Misalignment" included in paper copy of Hazardous Information Bulletin).

To prevent possible serious injury or death resulting from continued operation of your Bobcat loader with either one or both of these conditions, Melroe Company is warning all owners, operators, and service personnel to take all of the following corrective actions immediately:

  1. NOTIFY ALL PERSONS WHO MIGHT BE OPERATING OR SERVICING THIS MACHINE OF THIS NOTICE.
  2. REMIND ALL OPERATORS AND SERVICE PERSONNEL OF THE PROPER PROCEDURE FOR LEAVING THE LOADER, WHICH MELROE COMPANY PROVIDES THROUGH WARNINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS IN THE OPERATION MAINTENANCE MANUAL, THE BOBCAT OPERATOR'S HANDBOOK (TETHERED TO THE BACK OF THE OPERATOR'S SEAT), AND SAFETY DECALS ON YOUR SKID-STEER LOADER:
    • LOWER THE LIFT ARMS, PUT ATTACHMENT FLAT ON THE GROUND.
    • STOP THE ENGINE.
    • ENGAGE THE PARKING BRAKE.
    • RAISE THE SEAT BAR, MOVE PEDALS UNTIL BOTH LOCK.

    ENSURE THAT ALL OPERATORS AND SERVICE PERSONNEL UNDERSTAND THAT IF EITHER OR BOTH OF THE TWO CONDITIONS DESCRIBED IN THIS NOTICE EXIST ON THE LOADER AND THE OPERATOR FAILS TO FOLLOW THESE PROCEDURES FOR LEAVING THE LOADER HE CAN ACCIDENTALLY ACTIVATE THE LIFT OR TILT PEDALS, CAUSING SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.

  3. IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW THIS INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROCEDURE:
    • RAISE YOUR LOADER'S CAB AND CHECK TO SEE IF THE CENTER TRANSMISSION COVER (REAR COVER ON MODELS 742B and 743B WITH "50 SERIES" TRANSMISSIONS) HAS SHIFTED. LOOK FOR MARKINGS AROUND THE TRANSMISSION COVER'S BOLT HEADS, INDICATING THAT THE COVER HAS SHIFTED. RETIGHTEN ALL TRANSMISSION COVER BOLTS TO 20-25 FOOT-POUNDS TORQUE. (SEE FIGURE C included in paper copy of Hazardous Information Bulletin).
    • INSPECT THE SEAT BAR PEDAL INTERLOCKS FOR ANY SIGN OF MISALIGNMENT WITH THE PEDAL LINKAGES (SEE FIGURE B). ADJUST IF NECESSARY.
    • REFER TO THE MAINTENANCE SECTION OF YOUR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE MANUAL FOR INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT SEAT BAR INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE.

SAFETY NOTICE

Dear Bobcat Dealer:

The attached Safety Notice is being sent to all owners of the affected machines. This Safety Notice affects all Model 853, 753, 7753 loaders, all Model 742B loaders with a "50 Series" transmission (serial numbers 18001-18134) and all Model 743B loaders with a "50 Series" transmission (serial numbers 18001-18869). The Safety Notice is alerting our customers to two safety concerns with the "pedal (or "control") interlocks."

Melroe Company engineers are currently developing an appropriate corrective modification to address these two safety concerns. Until that is accomplished, Melroe Company requests that you immediately:

  1. Read the Safety Notice;
  2. If you rent or sell any of the models the Safety Notice affects, be sure that you provide the customer with a copy of the Safety Notice, be sure that he reads it, and answer any questions he may have concerning the Safety Notice, or direct those questions to the Melroe Service Department (701-678-6484).
  3. Thank you for your attention to this matter. In the near future, we will contact you about the corrective modifications which must be made to the affected machines. If you have any questions about this letter, the Safety Notice, or any other matter, please call the Melroe Service Department.

    Sincerely yours,

    Tom Ihringer
    Product Safety Manager

BOBCAT

SAFETY NOTICE

Serviceletter

DATE: 28 October 1992

SUBJECT: SEAT BAR "PEDAL INTERLOCKS"

Recently Melroe Company sent a Safety Notice to all affected owners and Melroe dealers warning about two serious safety concerns with the Seat Bar "pedal interlocks". In that Safety Notice, Melroe Company informed owners and dealers that it would provide a corrective modification at no cost. The Melroe Company has developed two field modification kits: the Interlock Shield Kit and the Transmission Cover Bolts Kit. You must install one or both of these kits on the affected machines.

Melroe Company now asks its dealers to take the following immediate actions:

  1. Read this Service Letter for instructions about the appropriate field modification kit(s) to be installed on affected loaders;
  2. Contact all owners of affected loaders and make arrangements to have their machine(s) corrected with the appropriate field modification kit(s); and
  3. Correct all affected loaders in your dealer inventory.

December 4, 1992

Dear Customer:

You recently received a Safety Notice from The Melroe Company informing you or two very serious safety concerns with the seat bar "pedal interlocks" on your Bobcat skid-steer loader, Model _______, serial number _______. A second copy of that Safety Notice is enclosed with this letter. As you may remember, the Safety Notice asked you to allow your local Bobcat dealer to make small modifications to your loader to remedy those two serious safety concerns.

We have learned, however, that you will not allow your local Melroe dealer to make those corrective modifications. The Melroe Company urges you to carefully read the Safety Notice, which we sent to you in an effort to protect you or another operator from serious injury or death. It is of the utmost importance that you reconsider your refusal to have your machine corrected.

Your machine needs one or both or the following corrective modifications:

  1. a new shield over the left and right pedal interlock to prevent accidental foot contact with those interlocks;
  2. three shoulder bolts fastened into the transmission cover to prevent the cover from slipping, which can cause pedal interlock misalignment.
  3. Your local Melroe dealer will make the corrective modifications your loader requires at absolutely no cost to you. If you do not have your loader modified, an operator who disregards Melroe's warnings and instructions by failing to stop the engine before he leaves the operator's seat can accidentally activate the lift or tilt pedals on your loader. This accidental activation may unexpectedly trap the operator between the cab and the raised lift arms or backhoe attachment, causing serious injury or death.

    This matter is of the utmost importance. Please contact your local Melroe dealer,_________________________, now so that he can arrange to make the corrective modifications to your loader immediately.

    If you have any questions concerning this letter or the prior safety Notice, please call your dealer listed above, or call the Melroe Service Department at 701-678-6484.

    Thank you very much for your anticipated cooperation.

    Sincerely yours,

    Tom Ihringer
    Product Safety Manager

The Interlock Shield Kit (P/N 6705490) includes (two) new Interlock Shields (one for each interlock), mounting hardware and a new warning decal. Follow Installation Instructions (P/N 6722392) enclosed. This kit will prevent accidental foot contact with the pedal interlock. Install this Interlock Shield Kit (PIN 6705490) on the following machines:

753 (S/N 19609 BELOW) EXCEPT: 18614, 19135, 19374, 19475, 19523, 19526, 19528, 19530, 19532, 19538, 19540, 19557, 19558, 19561, 19566, 19571, 19572, 19575-19579, 19581-19587, 19589-19602, 19604-19606

7753 (S/N 12522 BELOW) EXCEPT: 12374, 12410, 12433, 12443, 12470, 12495, 12496, 12501, 12503, 12505, 12509-12511, 12513-12515, 12517, 12519-12521

853 (S/N 510125510 BELOW) EXCEPT: 25452, 25464, 25488, 25490, 25492, 25493, 25496-25501, 25505-25507

853 (S/N 510250210 BELOW) EXCEPT: 50167, 50186, 50201, 50203-50207

853H (S/N 510375106 BELOW) EXCEPT: 75088, 75100, 75102, 75104-75105

853 (S/N 508415077 BELOW) EXCEPT: 15075-15076

853H (S/N 509715113 BELOW) EXCEPT: 15105-15107

The Transmission Cover Bolts Kit (P/N 6705253) includes (three) new style shoulder bolts and a new warning decal. Follow Installation Instructions (P/N 6722343) enclosed. This kit will prevent the transmission cover from shifting. Install this Transmission Cover Bolts Kit (P/N 6705253) in the following machines:

742B (S/N 18001 - 18133)
743B (S/N 18001 - 18868)
753 (S/N 18896 BELOW)
7753 (S/N 12233 BELOW)
853 (S/N 510125291 BELOW)
853 (S/N 510250122 BELOW)
853H (S/N 510375078 BELOW)
853 (S/N 508415058 BELOW)
853H (S/N 509715064 BELOW)

Melroe Company will compensate you for one (1) hour labor to install the new kit(s) On 753, 7753, 742B & 743B machines. One and one-half (1-1/2) hours labor is-allowed for 853 machines. One (1) additional hour is allowed for travel for retailed machines.

This field modification requires your immediate attention. It is of the utmost importance that you complete this corrective modification immediately to avoid serious injury or death.


1 The Directorate of Technical Support issues Hazard Information Bulletins (HIB) in accordance with OSHA Instruction CPL 2.65 to provide relevant information regarding unrecognized or misunderstood health hazards, inadequacies of materials, devices techniques, and safety engineering controls. HIBs are initiated based on information provided by the field staff, studies, and concerns expressed by safety and health professionals, employers, and the public. Information is compiled based on a thorough evaluation of available facts, in coordination with the appropriate parties.

* If your Bobcat loader has hand controls instead of pedals, this Safety Notice applies to your "control interlocks".

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