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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202674701 - Worker Paving Airstrip Is Struck By Airplane And Decapitated

Accident: 202674701 -- Report ID: 0950621 -- Event Date: 05/09/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31652259805/10/20131799Bob Britt Wells Dba Arrow Asphalt Paving
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on May 9, 2013, Employee #1, of Arrow Asphalt Paving, was working on a project to pave and chip seal sections of a private airstrip used by a crop dusting service in Biggs, CA. He was operating a push-type blower to remove loose gravel, dust, and debris from the asphalt as the project neared completion. Employee #1 was in the center of the runway, working alone approximately 300 feet from the end that led to the plane loading area and hangars. A pilot flying an airplane, Schweizer Aircraft Corporation Model G-164 B, approached the airstrip from the opposite end and landed. As the pilot taxied the plane toward the hangar, the plane's propeller struck Employee #1 in the head and decapitated him. This fatality was reported to Cal/OSHA's Sacramento District Office by the Butte County Sheriff's Department on May 9, 2013. The employer failed to report the event. Cal/OSHA's investigation determined that, because of the plane's design (tail dragger), there was limited pilot visibility looking forward and no visibility below the engine compartment (nose) while taxiing. Preliminary reports indicated there were no spotters. Employee #1 was not wearing a safety vest, and he may have been hearing impaired.
Keywords: aircraft, head, maintenance, ppe, cleaning, construction, struck by, decapitated, asphalt, poor visibility
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Highway, road, street Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 316522598 Fatality Amputation Paving, surfacing and tamping equipment operators FallDist:
Cause: Bituminous concrete placement
FatCause: Other

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