Heavy equipment and truck-related deaths on excavation work sites

The Center to Protect Workers' Rights, 8484 Georgia Avenue, Ste. 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.
Journal of Safety Research (Impact Factor: 1.29). 02/2006; 37(5):511-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2006.08.005
Source: PubMed


Contact with objects and equipment is the third leading cause of death in construction. This study examines heavy equipment- and truck-related deaths in the excavation work industry in construction.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries identified 253 heavy equipment related deaths on construction sites in the Excavation Work industry for the years 1992-2002.
Heavy equipment operators and construction laborers made up 63% of the heavy equipment- and truck-related deaths. Backhoes and trucks were involved in half the deaths. Rollovers were the main cause of death of heavy equipment operators. For workers on foot and maintenance workers, being struck by heavy equipment or trucks (especially while backing up for workers on foot), and being struck by equipment loads or parts were the major causes of death.
Ensuring adequate rollover protective structures for heavy equipment, requiring fastening of seat belts, adoption of a lock-out/tagout standard, establishing restricted access zones around heavy equipment, and requiring spotters for workers who must be near heavy equipment or trucks would reduce the risk of heavy equipment- and truck-related deaths in construction.
Safety of heavy equipment operators in particular is a major concern in excavation that needs to be addressed.

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    • "The number of fatalities, permanent and recoverable injuries is on the average 223 per year, according to the accidents database of the Ministry of Work in the Netherlands, called Geintegreerd Informatie Systeem Arbeids Inspectie (GISAI, 2005). Accidents owing to contact with falling objects have been analysed by the U.S. Department of Labour Statistics, Personick (1998), and for the US construction industry by Wu et al. (2012), Lipscomb et al. (2010) and McCann (2006). Wu et al. (2012) analysed 499 struck by falling object accidents during the period 1990–2008 and concluded that the most hazardous operation is hoisting/ lifting of objects and the most dangerous objects are beams, columns, large mechanical equipment ad pipes. "
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    ABSTRACT: A method and its results for quantifying occupational risk owing to falling objects is presented. It is based on the principles of quantified risk assessment. Five logical models representing falling object situations are quantified such as: (a) working or being near cranes, (b) working or being near mechanical lifting devices, (c) working or being near person propelled vehicles, (d) manual handling of loads and (e) working or being near falling objects (various other cases). These models allow the delineation of accidents involving contact with falling objects, into sequences of events describing measures (engineered and/or procedural) in place to prevent a struck by falling objects or to mitigate the consequences. Identification of these sequences enables the identification of specific root causes of such accidents and hence the determination of specific and practical actions that can influence the probability of being hit or the severity of the consequences. Risk as probability per hour of exposure for three possible consequences (recoverable, permanent injury and fatality) has been assessed. A sensitivity analysis has been performed, assessing the relative importance of measures affecting working conditions and eventually risk. The most important measures, in order to decrease fatality risk while working near cranes, are falling object protection systems. The appropriate placement of mechanical lifting devices is the most important measure for fatality risk reduction, if working near them, while the good surface condition is the most important measure for work near transport devices and in manual handling. In all other cases where falling objects might occur, demarcation of the dangerous zone is the most important measure for fatality risk reduction.
    Safety Science 11/2014; 69:57–70. DOI:10.1016/j.ssci.2014.02.017 · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    • "Arboleda and Abraham (2004) report that, after trench collapses, workers being struck by plant was the most frequent cause of fatalities during trenching work. McCann (2006) similarly reports that 57.5% of plant-related fatalities that occur during excavation work involve the decedent being struck by moving plant. 'Struck by' incidents involving plant accounted for 47 deaths and 361 major injuries in the UK between 2003/04 and 2007/08 (Health and Safety Executive, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ Drawing on the findings of coronial investigations, this research aimed to investigate the circumstances and causes of fatal incidents involving plant in the Australian construction industry. The analysis sought to provide greater insight into how and why fatal incidents occur and to inform recommendations for the prevention of fatal incidents involving plant. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Fatal incidents involving plant were identified from the National Coronial Information System. In each case, the decedent was a construction worker and the incident occurred at a construction worksite. A systemic incident causation model developed by Loughborough University informed the identification of originating influences, shaping factors and immediate circumstances in each incident. Findings ‐ Most of the incidents involved excavators, trucks and cranes, and different classifications of plant were associated with different types of incident. The most common incident types involved people being run over by moving plant or struck by a moving object. Site layout and unsafe actions were the most commonly identified immediate circumstances. Shaping factors included site constraints and the design of plant, particularly visibility issues relating to "blind spots". Originating influences included the design of the permanent work and construction process. Research limitations/implications ‐ The research highlights the usefulness of systemic incident causation models, such as the "Loughborough Model", in the analysis of the causes of fatal incidents involving plant in the construction industry. Practical implications ‐ The results indicate that plant-related fatalities occur as a result of a complex interplay of different causes, some of which are "upstream" of the construction work. The use of innovative new site planning methods and active monitoring technologies to reduce the risk of collisions between people and plant should be considered. Originality/value ‐ The analysis provides a more detailed qualitative analysis of the causes of fatal incidents involving excavators than would be possible using national compensation data, which restricts analysis to a classification of the mechanism and agency of injury.
    Engineering Construction & Architectural Management 06/2013; 20(4). DOI:10.1108/ECAM-09-2011-0085
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    • "Fatal accident case analysis is important in safety research because it can reveal the root causes of accidents, providing valuable information for designing future preventive measures. Fatal construction accident analysis has been conducted on different types of accidents and different types of works, such as electrocution (Janicak, 2008; Chi et al., 2009), fall of person (Huang and Hinze, 2003; Chi et al., 2005), struct-by (Hinze et al., 2005), crane operation fatalities (Beavers et al., 2006); heavy equipment and truckrelated fatalities (McCann, 2006), and trenching related fatalities (Arboleda and Abraham, 2004). However, fatal accident analysis on repair, maintenance, minor alteration, and addition (RMAA) works remains limited. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines fatalities of repair, maintenance, minor alteration, and addition (RMAA) works which occurred in Hong Kong between January 2000 and October 2011. A total of 119 RMAA fatalities were recorded. Particular emphasis was placed on fall from height accidents as they accounted for the vast majority of RMAA fatal accidents for the period. A cluster analysis was conducted on fall from height fatal cases. The cluster analysis clearly identified three groups of fall from height fatalities: (1) bamboo scaffolders aged between 25 and 34 who fell from external wall/facade in the beginning of weekdays; (2) miscellaneous workers aged between 45 and 54 who fell from other/unknown places in the end of weekdays; and (3) manual labour aged between 35 and 44 who fell at floor level/from floor openings in weekends. Unsafe process and improper procedures were the main unsafe condition leading to fatalities whereas safety belt not properly used was the main unsafe action leading to fatalities. Specific safety interventions were recommended for each of these groups to help avoid these fatalities.
    Safety Science 01/2013; 51(1):85–93. DOI:10.1016/j.ssci.2012.06.013 · 1.83 Impact Factor
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