Jackhammer Operator Run Over by a Truck in a Highway Work ZoneAbstract:
On September 8, 2001, a 37-year-old construction worker was killed when he was run over by a fuel truck in a highway work zone. The victim was employed by a construction company that was doing deck repair on an elevated highway leading into a major urban area. Construction was done only on the weekends to minimize traffic disruption in the area. Sometime after 10:00 a.m., the driver of a fuel truck arrived at the site to refuel two diesel compressors supplying compressed air for the jackhammers and other pneumatic tools. He drove into the work zone, which was marked with traffic cones, and parked between the two compressors. Quickly filling both compressors with fuel, he retracted his fuel line and got into his truck to leave. The driver then started to leave the work zone as another worker behind him stopped traffic. He did not see the victim, who was standing or working near the front of his truck. The truck had only moved a short distance when some other workers from the site yelled for him to stop, and the driver looked at his mirrors and saw the victim on the ground behind him. NJ FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar incidents in the future, these safety guidelines should be followed:
Employers should institute an internal traffic control plan as outlined in the NIOSH publication Building Safer Highway Work Zones: Measures to Prevent Worker Injuries from Vehicles and Equipment.
Truck owners should examine their vehicles for blind spots and install mirrors to increase visability.
Employers should consider the use of electronic signaling devices or sensors to warn equipment operators of the presence of pedestrians in the blind spots of mobile equipment.