FACEValue: Worker dies after aerial lift struck by truck

December 19, 2017

Case report: #71-160-2017s*
Issued by: Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: July 2016

A construction foreman and a laborer were working on an elevated aerial lift platform to install replacement retaining rods underneath a bridge. The platform was positioned underneath the bridge in a dirt median between two roadway ramps. The work area was about 30 feet above a single lane of an elevated exit ramp. As the foreman was positioning the platform, it was struck by a box truck traveling in the lane below. The impact spun the platform 180 degrees and ejected the workers. The foreman was thrown 50 feet, where he landed on a railroad track 48 feet below. He died from his injuries. The laborer fell about 10 feet and dangled from his lanyard above the road until the truck driver and a passerby helped him down. He survived.

To help prevent similar occurrences:

  • Employers should provide adequate onsite supervision to ensure employees consistently follow safe work practices.
  • Perform a Job Hazard Analysis to identify site safety hazards and ensure workers are protected from those hazards.