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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200810448 - Employee #1 Killed When Crushed Under Wheels Of Dump Truck

Accident: 200810448 -- Report ID: 0627400 -- Event Date: 10/06/1998
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30057648510/07/19982875Back To Earth Resources, Inc.
At approximately 2:00 p.m. on October 7, 1998, Employee #1 and a coworker were using a Mack tractor and 30 ft trailer to dump compost inside the storage area of Back to Earth Resources in Lubbock, TX. The dump trailer was raised to its maximum position and the compost had been released when the coupling device of the hydraulic lift system disengaged. The valve assembly at the female end of the quick-connect held the pressure of the extended ram. This meant that the raised trailer could not be lowered, which was necessary for it to exit from the storage area. The workers tried unsuccessfully to reconnect the quick-connect coupling device and to release the pressure from the cylinder by lifting the trailer with a front end loader. They then decided to remove the fitting from the hydraulic unit itself. Employee #1 loosened the coupling assembly slightly at the cylinder and asked the coworker for a broom so he could be further away when the hydraulic fluid was released. The coworker, who was on the right side of the unit, did not hear his request, so Employee #1 began to further loosen the connection by hand. He was leaning over the rear wheels of the tandem when the approximately 2,000 lb of pressure restrained by the assembly blew off the fitting, completely releasing the hydraulic fluid from the cylinder. The sudden release in pressure allowed the trailer bed to descend, forcing the tractor to roll forward. Employee #1's torso and upper legs were struck by and crushed under the left rear tandem. The coworker realized that moving the tractor forward would further injure Employee #1, so he used the front end loader to lift the trailer off him. By the time he had raised the trailer, other coworkers had arrived to help. They moved Employee #1 from under the tractor and he was transported by Life Flight to University Medical Center, where he died.
Keywords: hydraulic lift, automotive repair, stuck, torso, caught between, dump truck, high pressure, mech malfunction, pressure release, dump truck bed
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 300576485 Fatality Other Occupation not reported

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