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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170667711 - Employee Dies After Being Pinned Between Truck And Dock

Accident: 170667711 -- Report ID: 0111500 -- Event Date: 02/13/2004
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12315540002/13/20043089American Plastic Products, Inc.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. on February 13, 2004, Employee #1, a warehouse manager, was loading a truck. The tractor driver of a Swift tractor trailer arrived on site to pick up materials. The tractor driver was instructed to park the empty trailer he was transporting on the west side of the building and informed that he needed to remove a full trailer from the building's south side loading dock. The driver connected his tractor to the full trailer in the loading dock but was informed that five more pallets had to be loaded into the trailer before it could be pulled out. Employee #1 used a forklift to load the remaining five pallets of material onto the trailer. The driver of the tractor and Employee #1 closed the two trailer doors, and the tractor driver instructed Employee #1 to lift the dock plate. Employee #1 informed the driver that the dock plate was broken and he could just pull the full trailer out. The tractor driver pulled the full trailer out, unhooked it, connected to his empty trailer and proceeded to back it into the south facing loading dock. The driver said that the employees were on lunch break and there were no employees of American Plastic Products in the area. The driver backed the empty trailer into the dock but hit the west side wall of the dock with the right side of the trailer. The driver pulled out of the loading dock far enough to get the tractor and trailer straightened out. The driver backed the tractor trailer up into the loading dock a second time and observed Employee #1 in his left mirror holding the dock plate extension in the elevated position with a metal hook. According to the tractor driver, he continued backing up and was off about a foot or two from the loading dock and was pinching the dock plate with the back of the trailer. The driver pulled forward about a foot or two and the dock plate extension fell. The tractor trailer driver stated that Employee #1 moved to the right (or towards the west wall) and the driver proceeded to back up the tractor trailer. The driver did not see Employee #1 at that point and yelled out the window, "Where are you?" Upon getting no response and no visual contact, the driver stopped the truck and set the brake. The driver walked behind the trailer and observed Employee #1 pinned between the trailer and loading dock. The driver ran back up to the tractor and pulled the tractor trailer forward approximately four feet. The driver parked the tractor trailer, got out of the tractor and yelled for help. Workers of American Plastic Products arrived at the loading dock and provided assistance and comforted Employee #1, who had sustained chest injury. Upon arrival, the ambulance pulled into the dock, administered medical treatment and transported Employee #1 to Waterbury Hospital, where he died of asphyxia. There were no witnesses as to why or how Employee #1 had entered the dock floor area while the tractor trailer was backing into the dock. It was not known if Employee #1 jumped down into the loading dock or fell into the loading dock and was struck while attempting to get up.
Keywords: chest, asphyxiated, warehouse, pinned, equipment operator, trailer truck, caught between, loading dock, communication, backing up
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 123155400 Fatality Asphyxia Supervisors, material moving equipment operators

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