WorkSafeBC Home

Driver seriously injured after archway collapsed onto truck

Date of incident: August 2013
Notice of incident number: 2013165890134
Employer: Garbage removal company

Incident summary
The driver of a roll-off garbage truck was pulling away from an outdoor loading area at a mall, with an elevated compactor bin incompletely loaded onto the truck's rail system. The bin was still in a raised position when the driver began to move the truck forward up the exit ramp. The upper part of the bin struck a brick archway that spanned the ramp. The archway detached from its supports and fell onto the truck's cab, crushing the cab and trapping the driver. A fire started under the truck's dashboard, which passersby partially suppressed with fire extinguishers. The fire department eventually put out the fire. Fire department personnel then braced the archway and the truck, and extricated the driver. The driver sustained multiple injuries.

Investigation conclusions

  • Archway collapsed when struck by compactor bin: The archway was not designed to withstand impact forces. A column supported it at one end, and a metal plate secured to a beam supported it at the other end. Both supports failed, causing the archway to fall when the compactor bin struck it.

Underlying factors

  • Unsafe operation of the garbage truck: The driver drove the truck forward while simultaneously hoisting the compactor bin onto the truck's rails and lowering the rail system. With the truck's rail system elevated, the compactor bin was too high to clear the archway. Both the worker's employer and the manufacturer of the rail system required the rail system to be fully horizontal before moving the truck out of the area. The driver did not follow these requirements to operate the truck safely.
  • Driver not focused on driving: The driver was looking in the rear-view mirror and watching the rail system when the incident occurred. The driver was not focused on driving but on advancing the bin onto the rails and lowering the rails when the incident occurred.
Request the full report

Publication Date: Aug 2013 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2013165890134