FACEValue: Truck driver crushed to death by steel coil

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Case report: #15KY063*
Issued by: Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: Oct. 26, 2015

A 46-year-old truck driver and a bridge crane operator were loading three 7.6-ton steel coils onto a flatbed semitrailer using a bridge crane. The truck driver was standing on the bed of the trailer, and both he and the bridge crane operator had their backs turned to the bridge crane while the crane operator actuated the crane’s controls. The crane’s sling became entangled in the eye of a steel coil, causing the coil to topple over onto the truck driver. The truck driver was pinned to the bed of the trailer beneath the coil. He died at the scene. The victim had received a copy of all safety policies, procedures and programs from the trucking company that contracted him. Although the trucking company had written safety programs that included safe procedures for driving-related activities and loading practices, no training specifically addressed loading zone safety.

To help prevent similar occurrences:

  • Ensure steel coils are properly secured to the trailer bed before detachment from bridge cranes.
  • Keep visual contact with the cargo and crane at all times during crane operation.
  • Specify in written policies that personnel are to be restricted from the loading zone during mechanized loading and unloading.
  • Ensure slings and other attachments are free of the coil’s eye before actuating the crane away from the coil.

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