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Pedestrian struck by recycling truck

Date of incident: April 2012
Notice of incident number: 2012129161659
Employer: Recyclable material disposal company

Incident summary

A recycling truck driver was collecting blue recycling boxes from a curb. While emptying the boxes into the loading bucket on the right side of the truck, he did not see a pedestrian cross the street from the left side and walk in front of the truck. The driver re-entered the truck from the right side and moved the truck forward using the right-side driving controls. The truck struck the pedestrian. The pedestrian suffered fatal injuries.

Investigation conclusions

  • Pedestrian struck after driver failed to ensure it was safe to move truck ahead: When the driver got back in the truck, he did not adequately check all of the mirrors to ensure it was safe to drive ahead. He did not see the pedestrian, who was at the front of the truck. The driver then drove the truck forward, striking the pedestrian, who sustained fatal injuries.

Underlying factors

  • Driver operated truck without due care and attention: The driver scanned three of his four rear-view mirrors, released the temporary handbrake, and then moved the truck forward. He did not look in the right-side bus-type fender-mounted mirror. The pedestrian was at the front of the truck and was taller than the front of the truck. The driver should have seen the pedestrian by looking directly ahead or by looking in his mirrors. By moving the vehicle forward without having done these checks, the driver was operating the vehicle without due care and attention, which is a violation of the Motor Vehicle Act.
  • Actions of the pedestrian: The pedestrian crossed the street and then walked to the front of the truck, which was parked and running, while the driver was out of the vehicle emptying recycling boxes on the right side.
  • Employer did not follow manufacturer's instructions: The employer did not require workers to read the operator's manual before operating the recycling truck. The driver did not read the manual, and the operating instructions in the manual were not specifically incorporated into the driver's training. The employer did not ensure that the recycling truck was operated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

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Hazard alert

Publication Date: Apr 2012 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2012129161659