Construction Laborer Dies After a Water Truck and Scraper Collide – South CarolinaAbstract:
A 30-year-old construction laborer (the victim) died at a highway construction site when the vehicle he was driving collided with an earth-moving vehicle (scraper). Throughout the day the victim had been performing various tasks that he had been assigned, including driving a truck equipped with a water tank to disperse water over the dirt roadbed of a new highway under construction. No seat belt restraint system was installed in the truck. At approximately 2:30 p.m. the victim was driving the truck south at an estimated 45 miles per hour and watering the roadbed. At the same time another worker was driving a fully loaded scraper in the opposite direction on the same section of roadbed. As the vehicles approached one another, the water truck veered sharply to the left into the path of the oncoming scraper. The front of the water truck struck the left front tire, wheel assembly, and fender of the scraper and the truck overturned. The victim died instantly as a result of massive head injuries sustained in the collision and was pronounced dead at the site by the county coroner. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should:
ensure that all construction vehicles, where applicable, are properly equipped with seat belt restraint systems
evaluate their current safety programs and incorporate specific written procedures detailing the importance of using seat belts, of following established driving speeds, and of recognizing and avoiding vehicular-related hazards in the workplace
install speed limiting governors in construction vehicles, where applicable.