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Driver seriously injured when logging truck rolled over

Date of incident: October 2013
Notice of incident number: 2013155980253
Employer: Logging company

Incident summary
A logging truck was hauling a load of logs down a forest service road. The truck went around a curve on an icy section of the road with a 14 percent slope. The trailer lost traction, travelled off the road surface, and rolled over once, causing the tractor to also roll over. The load of logs fell from the trailer bunks. The driver sustained serious injuries.

Investigation conclusions

  • Ice on the forest service road caused loss of traction: The trailer of the loaded logging truck lost traction while negotiating a curved section of the road that was icy and covered by a thin layer of snow.
Underlying factors
  • Delay in taking corrective action: During the weeks before the incident, the condition of the running surface of the forest service road deteriorated due to heavy rain, making it hazardous. The truck driver's employer communicated this to the road use permit holder (the company that was responsible for road maintenance). The road use permit holder attempted to address the hazardous condition by placing gravel and grading the muddy road, but these efforts were not effective due to the wet conditions. The road use permit holder planned to grade the road again when the temperature cooled enough to firm up the running surface of the road. When conditions became favourable for grading, the employer did not delay or stop the hauling to allow for grading, and the road use permit holder did not have the grading commence.
  • Driver did not use additional chains: The driver had one set of chains on the tractor's front drive tires as was his practice due to the muddy conditions at the cutblock. He did not use additional chains on the tractor or trailer even though the conditions of the running surface of the forest service road changed once snow and ice were present.
Other safety issue
  • Lack of seat belt use: The driver was not wearing a seat belt immediately preceding the incident. When the truck rolled, he remained in the driver's seat because the dash came forward and pinned him to the seat. The employer's written safety program states that seat belts will be worn at all times when driving company vehicles. The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation stipulates that if mobile equipment has seat belts required by any law in B.C., the driver and passengers must use the belts whenever the equipment is in motion.

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Publication Date: Oct 2013 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2013155980253