FACE Reports

FACEValue: Laborer crushed to death by skid-steer loader

Case report: #12-NJ-010*
Issued by: New Jersey Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Date of incident: Winter 2012

A laborer at a snow removal company was killed after being crushed between the lift arms and chassis of a small skid-steer loader. The victim, working alone at the time of the incident, had been attempting to repair the pedal that controlled the loader’s lift arms. He had worked on the machine several times prior to the incident. To access the pedal for repair, the victim attached a 3-ton overhead chain hoist to the loader to lift the bucket. As he was working on the pedal, the bucket/lift arms came free of the hoist and crushed him. No one witnessed the incident. The victim’s wife, worried because her husband had not come home, called his boss several times. After receiving the phone messages, the owner went to the jobsite and discovered the victim.

To prevent future occurrences:

  • Never work alone in potentially hazardous situations.
  • Ensure lift arm support devices are in place if the bucket of a loader needs to be raised.
  • Employers should ensure all equipment is in sound operating condition, and maintenance on heavy machinery should be conducted by a well-trained, qualified person.
  • A safety and health plan based on a job hazard analysis should be developed by employers and followed by workers.

*This report is the product of NIOSH’s Cooperative State partner. The findings and conclusions in each report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of NIOSH.