Heavy equipment and truck-related deaths on excavation work sites

ArticleinJournal of Safety Research 37(5):511-7 · February 2006with87 Reads
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.
    • "The sub-project level refers to large activities that can be conducted independently within a project. The type of activity involves excavation (McCann, 2006), roofing (Behm, 2011), scaffolding (Halperin and McCann, 2004), steel work (Leu and Chang, 2013), crane related work (Shapira et al., 2012), concrete formwork (Hallowell and Gambatese, 2009) and trenching (Hinze, 2005). Only 2.28% of the studies were conducted at the task level. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Persistent endeavors have been made to promote construction safety, but fatalities still plague the industry. Recently there had been an emergence of a variety of construction safety research focusing on topics such as safety competency, accident statistics, design for safety, and safety culture. A large number of construction safety studies with the variety of topics make it difficult for stakeholders to have an overview of this field. Hence a systematic review of previous studies is paramount for facilitating sharing useful research findings and accessing future trends in construction safety research. A five-step framework was proposed in this review. The analysis focused on publication year, journal title, country/region distribution, organizational level, project phase, project type, innovative technology application and research topic. Three groups of construction safety research were identified. The first group of research is conducted from the perspective of safety management process, such as safety assessment and safety program. The second group aims to explore the impact of individual and group characteristics in relation to construction safety, such as worker behavior, perception, and safety climate. The third group utilizes accident/incident data to improve safety performance. In order to better capture construction safety research trend, these studies were discussed from chronological and thematic perspectives. Four main research findings including construction safety research perspectives, construction safety research trends, innovative technology applications in construction safety, and safety information flow, were gained. Finally, this review identified and discussed research gaps and corresponding agenda which can serve as guidance for future construction safety research.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014
    • "OHS guidelines recommend that when a significant risk of falling materials exists, as is the case when excavators are used for demolition work, mobile plant should be fitted with falling-object protective structures (FOPS) (HSE 2009). In the USA the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits workers from standing or working under loads being handled by digging or lifting equipment and requires workers to stand away from vehicles being loaded or unloaded (McCann, 2006). However, McCann (2006) notes that this requirement is frequently ignored and it is very common (but unsafe) site practice for workers to stand under suspended loads. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The paper analyses the nature and causes of fatal incidents involving excavators occurring in the Australian construction industry. A three-level incident causation model developed by researchers at Loughborough University forms the theoretical framework for this analysis, which seeks to identify immediate circumstances, shaping factors and originating influences in selected incidents. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Case study incidents were identified from the National Coronial Information System database. These incidents were subjected to content analysis to identify causal factors. Findings ‐ Ten cases were analysed in total. In all of these cases immediate circumstances could be identified. These included the use of unsafe work methods and the condition, suitability or useability of plant. In several cases shaping factors, such as communication between work-team members and the design of work processes, were identified as likely contributors to the incidents. In none of the cases could originating influences be identified. Research limitations/implications ‐ The research was limited by the relatively small number of cases for which detailed investigation reports were available and the fact that, for the most part, the reports focused on the immediate circumstances surrounding the incidents. Practical implications ‐ The circumstances of the fatal incidents in Australia are similar to those reported in the UK and the USA and the identified causes have known safety solutions. The persistence of these incidents in the Australian construction industry suggests that there may be underlying reasons why known safety solutions are not implemented. Further in-depth analysis of incident causes may help to identify organisational and/or cultural causes of incidents involving excavators. Originality/value ‐ The analysis provides a more detailed qualitative analysis of the causes of fatal incidents involving excavators than would is possible using national compensation data, which restricts analysis to a classification of the mechanism and agency of injury.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013
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