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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201126794 - Employee Is Injured In Fall From Tug Tractor

Accident: 201126794 -- Report ID: 0950613 -- Event Date: 06/23/2008
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31009411506/27/20084512United Airlines
At approximately 12:00 p.m. June 23, 2008, Employee #1 and a coworker were leaving Gate Number 87 after finishing the job of loading baggage on a 757 aircraft when another employee drove up in a tug and dropped off 2 to 3 more bags, to be loaded onto aircraft. According to the coworker's statement, the belt loader was taken to a different gate by the other crew members and there was no other equipment available to load these bags. So, in order to finish the job, Employee #1 drove his tractor tug, Toyota - Model Number 02-2TD23, Serial Number -2TD25-10208, Unit Number- CT4135, Year 1991, up to the rear cargo-pit. He was standing on a passenger seat, and Employee #2 was handing to him an approximately 30-lb bag. Employee # 1 was attempting to put this bag in the cargo pit, but he dropped it. The coworker believed that the bag hit the hand brake and gear shift, causing the brake to disengage and shift the gears into drive. After the tug started to move, Employee #1 fell off from the hood of the tug tractor and hit his head against the ground. Employee #1 lacerated his head and fractured his left shoulder and back. He was taken to the San Francisco General Hospital for more then 24 hours. The coworker stated that it was a common practice to stand on the tractor and load the aircraft, when a belt loader was not available, and bags were dropped off at the last minute. The other two employees were approximately 30-40 ft away from the accident site and they did not witness the accident, but they saw the tractor moving around without a driver, at the speed of approximately 20 to 25 miles per hour. One of these employees chased the tractor to stop it, but he was unable to do it. The tractor finally ended up hitting the left engine of this aircraft and came to a stop. The employee #1 was using unsafe method of loading bags on the aircraft and this was common practice, when a belt loader was not available. Furthermore, it was common practice not to chalk the tug. According to the employees, the supervisors were aware of this unsafe practice however, the employees never received any written or verbal warnings from the supervisor to stop this practice. Employee #1 declined to be interviewed.
Keywords: loading, fracture, head, shoulder, baggage conveyor, laceration, fall, tractor, gear, motor vehicle
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 310094115 Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Baggage porters and bellhops

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