Seventeen-Year-Old Part-Time Road Construction Laborer Dies After Being Run Over by a Water Truck – IndianaAbstract:
On April 16, 2001, a 17-year-old male part-time road construction laborer (the victim) died when he was run over by the rear wheels of a water truck. When the victim arrived at the work site, his employer asked him to ride with him in the cab of the water truck. After riding approximately 10 minutes, the employer asked him to get out and go to the rear of the truck to check the fluid gauge on the tank. The truck continued moving forward at 3 to 5 miles per hour. A coworker, who was driving a tamping roller behind the water truck, saw the victim get off the back of the moving truck after checking the fluid gauge and walk around the truck toward the cab on the passenger side. He then saw the victim stop just before the cab, where he stooped over, leaned under the truck and was run over. The employer last saw the victim in his driver’s side mirror when the victim poked his head around the tank from his position on the ladder attached to the rear of the truck. He yelled to the victim to get down and move to the driver’s side to get ready to close an external control under the truck on the driver’s side. When the employer stopped the truck approximately 30 to 45 seconds after last seeing the victim, he looked back and saw the coworker waving and the victim lying on the road. The coworker called 911 from his cell phone. Personnel from the county sheriff’s department and county coroner’s office responded within minutes and determined that the victim had sustained fatal head injuries when he was dragged and run over by the rear wheels of the water truck. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:
develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures for work performed in the proximity of vehicles and equipment. These procedures should, at minimum, prohibit workers from climbing onto, leaning under, entering or exiting moving vehicles, and detail safe procedures for working around moving vehicles and under secured vehicles
develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive safety program which includes training in hazard recognition, including, but not limited to, hazards associated with working in proximity to vehicles and equipment, and in the avoidance of unsafe conditions
ensure that malfunctioning equipment is removed from service until repairs have been completed
consider contacting equipment manufacturers to enlist their help in improving equipment safety.