Female Construction Worker Dies in a Compactor Tip Over at a Highway Construction Site – South CarolinaAbstract:
On April 19, 1999, a 38-year-old female highway construction worker (the victim) died after the compactor she was operating slipped off the edge of the road surface while backing up, tipped on its side and pinned her underneath. The victim had been working for a company that was subcontracted, as part of a major highway expansion project, to construct a highway off ramp that would eventually lead to an overpass bridge. The victim’s job at this site was to compact the dirt ramp in preparation for hard surfacing. Two days prior to the incident, the company had delivered to the site a new compactor equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS), but no seatbelts. The victim was operating the compactor, with the enclosed cab door open, back and forth over a built up road bed when she backed up near the edge and the earth under the rear tires gave way. When the compactor tipped over the embankment, the unrestrained victim was partially thrown from the open door of the cab and pinned under the ROPS. Emergency rescue personnel were immediately called and arrived at the site within fifteen minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the site.