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Truck rolled backward, fatally injuring worker

Date of incident: September 2014
Notice of incident number: 2014117930050
Employer: Motion picture company

Incident summary
Workers were moving equipment to a movie set located in a park. One worker backed a 5-ton cube van into position on a slope to unload equipment. Other workers began to unload the truck. After approximately five minutes of unloading activity, the unattended truck suddenly rolled backward toward a worker who was observing the unloading work. The worker sustained fatal injuries.

Investigation conclusions


  • Parking brake failure. The parking brake failed to hold the cube van in place and was found to be in an out-of-service condition when inspected after the incident. The cause of this out-of-service condition is unknown. The cube van was certified as roadworthy five months before the incident. There are several possible causes of parking brake failure, including driving with the parking brake on.

Contributing factors

  • Failure to chock the wheels of the truck. The wheels of the cube van were not chocked when it was parked on a moderate slope. The truck began rolling downhill when workers began working in the back of it.
  • Failure to deliver a safe vehicle. The truck owner may have delivered the cube van with a defective parking brake. He relied on a five-month-old vehicle inspection that certified that all vital systems in the cube van were working as required. The levelling block supplied with the truck was not a proper chock and could not be relied on to hold the cube van if inadvertent movement occurred.

Request the full report

Publication Date: Jan 2019 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2014117930050