Section I: Vehicular Accidents
Summary No. 7 - Container Loading/Unloading Operations
Employees were exposed to the hazard of being struck by a truck operating in a high-traffic area on a dock.
Intermodal shipping containers are being lifted from the vessel with a shore-based crane onto chassis on the dock. Trucks take the containers to a storage area of the port and then bring selected containers to the crane to be loaded onto the vessel.
Activity at time of incident:
A longshoreman was standing in a high-traffic area on the dock after handing paperwork to the truck driver, when the truck driver made a U-turn near the longshoreman. His truck was not pulling a chassis.
Longshoremen are loading containers from chassis onto a vessel, using a shore-based crane. The trucks deliver the empty chassis to a storage area at the marine terminal facility, and occasionally haul selected containers to the crane area, where they are loaded onto the vessel. There are about 24 truck drivers working in three lanes at the dock, eight trucks per lane. A longshoreman works on the dock in the traffic area, directing trucks, handing paperwork to the drivers, and occasionally speaking into a microphone mounted at his shoulder.
A truck driver was obtaining a chassis in the storage area, when he was contacted by radio and asked to return to the crane area on the dock. When the truck arrived at the crane area, the longshoreman handed the driver some paperwork through the driver's window and began to walk away. The driver then proceeded forward and made a U-turn to the left. The truck's right front wheel (on the passenger side) struck and killed the longshoreman.
Employers provided refresher training quarterly to yard truck drivers and signalers, emphasizing the need to be alert to pedestrians working near moving vehicles.
Driving lines on the dock area were repainted and in good condition. The lighting was adequate and the overhead crawler cranes have lights that shine down on the dock area.
The truck was inspected and found to be in working order, including brakes, wipers, lights, and horn.
Applicable Standards and Control Measures
- 29 CFR 1910.178 (l)(4)(ii)(A)(B): Powered industrial trucks - Operator training - Refresher training and evaluation. "Refresher training in relevant topics shall be provided to the operator when:
(A) The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner;
(B) The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident."
This hazard may have been prevented if the employer had ensured that all employees involved in the operation, including the truck driver and longshoreman, were trained in hazard recognition and pedestrian safety.
Additionally, remind drivers to ensure all ground personnel are clear of the vehicle prior to moving.
Other Relevant Standards and/or Control Measures
- Develop a system to ensure that truck drivers whose services were provided through the local union were properly trained in safe dock operations.
- Revise the work procedures for the longshoreman and other employees working near the trucks, to reduce the need for them to work on the dock areas.
- Improve traffic conditions in the congested tractor-trailer truck loading area, such as widening the truck lanes.