Safety Tips FACE Reports

FACEValue: Driver dies after being pinned under truck

Case report: 2004IA051*
Issued by: Iowa State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of incident: Fall 2004

A 58-year-old miner was crushed to death by the haul truck he had been driving. Although the victim had many years of mining experience, he had been driving a haul truck for only slightly more than two weeks. The loaded haul truck had a gross vehicle weight rating of approximately 63 tons, including its maximum payload of 35 tons. The truck went off the left side of the haul road and continued downhill across a slope covered with loose rocks. The driver was ejected or jumped, and was pinned under the front left corner of the truck cab as the truck came to rest on its left side. The truck’s braking systems were not well-maintained, and lack of safety belt use contributed to the victim’s death. When emergency medical personnel arrived, they could not detect the victim’s pulse, and the medical examiner later pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

To prevent future occurrences:

  • Operators and maintenance personnel should perform pre-operation inspections to ensure haul trucks are free of visible problems that could adversely affect safety.
  • Operators should check the function and performance of service, retarder, parking, and secondary or supplemental braking systems to ensure they are working properly before putting haul trucks into service. Critical systems that are unable to perform acceptably must be maintained or repaired, and machinery locked and tagged, until ready to be returned to service.
  • A service technician should perform regularly scheduled inspection and maintenance of braking and steering system components.
  • Operators of haul trucks should keep their safety belt fastened whenever the truck is moving. Haul truck operators should fasten the safety belts ?before the truck is moved and should never unfasten it in an overturn.

*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.