FACEValue: Worker killed by material handler

April 25, 2016

Case report: #2013-01*
Issued by: The NIOSH FACE Program
Date of incident: Sept. 14, 2012

A 47-year-old worker died after being struck by a hydraulic material handler. On the day of the incident, the victim was using a torch to cut up metal. The material handler at the facility removed scrap metal from delivery trucks and placed it onto trucks hauling it to a recycling facility. It is believed that after directing a truck to the loading area, the victim paused in front of the parked material handler. The material handler operator did not see the torcher from his position in the cab. The operator put the equipment in forward gear. The victim was caught in the track and run over. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene due to multiple crushing injuries.

To help prevent similar occurrences:

  • Design work areas to limit hazards to workers on foot and create procedures to ensure employees stay clear of moving equipment.
  • Consider installing operator assistance devices, such as additional mirrors, proximity warning systems or object detection systems.
  • Implement equipment operating and pre-check procedures to minimize exposure to hazards from equipment blind spots and swing areas.
  • Implement the use of personal protective equipment, including high-visibility apparel, hard hats, safety boots and hearing protection.