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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200230274 - Employee Killed When Caught In Drive Shaft Under Dump Truck

Accident: 200230274 -- Report ID: 1032500 -- Event Date: 11/21/1997
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30020688511/26/19971794Kd Excavation

At approximately 8:30 a.m. on November 21, 1997, Employee #1 was alone at the equipment yard of a sand and gravel company, preparing to haul a load of gravel to a construction site. Apparently, he was inspecting the Kenworth W900 dump truck, which he had used before but did not drive regularly. Employee #1 lowered the bed, which had been left in a raised position so precipitation would not accumulate in it, and then moved the truck closer to the storage building to perform a daily inspection and to check that all equipment was properly functioning (as required by DOT and OSHA 29 CFR 1926.601(14)). The owner of the company said that between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m., Employee #1 phoned to tell him that the power take-off (PTO) would not engage. The owner told him that it was common for the cable to freeze underneath the truck due to the wet and cold weather, and instructed him to climb under the vehicle and knock the ice off the PTO cable to free it. Employee #1 went under the truck from behind one of the side gas tanks and, while lying under the PTO drive shaft, used a hammer to remove the ice. Apparently, a piece of Employee #1's clothing became caught on a bolt, zerk fitting, or pinch point on the drive shaft and he was pulled into the rotating unit. He died of crushing injuries or suffocation. According to the employer, coworkers from an adjacent company were in the south side of the yard, approximately 50 yards away, for approximately one hour after the accident. The engine had stalled out and they assumed Employee #1 was servicing the truck, unaware of the accident. Between 9:45 and 10:10 a.m., another driver for Employee #1's company entered the lot to see if he needed help. Once the coworker became aware of the situation, he immediately summoned emergency services. Employee #1 was pronounced dead at the scene. The coworker who regularly drove the Kenworth truck later stated that it was common for the PTO to stick, and that it was usually remedied by working the lever in the cab back and forth, and also by spraying lubricant down into the lever casing. Also, lubricant would be sprayed on the cable under the truck after its use. All these activities were normally carried out with the motor stopped. During subsequent investigations, the owner said that he did not think he needed to instruct Employee #1 to turn off the motor or take any additional precautions. Due to Employee #1's length of experience as a driver, the owner felt he would have understood to lock out the truck and disengage the PTO lever. Two other coworkers interviewed agreed that turning off the motor and disengaging the PTO was just common sense. They also stated that no specific training on safe methods to service the vehicle in this manner had been provided by the company, other than training provided by the state to receive a CDL.

Keywords: rotating shaft, work rules, caught by, construction, lockout, dump truck, frozen, untrained, drive shaft, power take-off
Accident Details
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Contractor's yard/facility Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 X

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 300206885 Fatality Other Occupation not reported FallDist:
Cause: Temporary work (buildings, facilities)
FatCause: Crushed/run-over by construction equipment during

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