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FaceValue: Worker connecting towline fatally crushed

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Case report: #2015-01
Issued by: West Virginia Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program*
Date of incident: July 3, 2013

A 24-year-old oil and gas delivery truck driver was fatally injured when he was crushed between a dozer and the front of his vehicle. The driver was delivering concrete to a jobsite and needed a tow. The towing dozer operator backed to the front of the driver’s truck. The victim exited his cab to connect to the dozer’s towline, but he needed a D-ring to complete the connection. Investigators suspect that when the dozer operator exited the dozer to hand the driver a D-ring, his foot hit the parking brake lever and the dozer rolled backward, crushing the truck driver between the vehicles.

To prevent future occurrences:

  • Employers should ensure employees follow safe operating procedures.
  • Employers should implement standard operating procedures for equipment operations such as parking and towing.
  • Employers should use a job hazard analysis to identify and eliminate towing hazards.
  • Ensure vehicles are properly equipped for towing before initiating the towing connection procedures.
  • Ensure a designated area is flat before making towing connections.
  • Dozer equipment manufacturers should consider providing an engineering control, such as an interlock or other safeguards, to prevent parking brake levers from disengaging.

Download the full report.

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