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Worker injured when pulled out of truck cab

Date of incident: May 2016
Notice of incident number: 2016170150001
Employer: Residential construction company; landscaping contractor

Incident summary
Two workers were using handheld wands to water boulevard trees in a residential subdivision. One of the workers was driving a flatdeck truck that contained a water tank. A deck-mounted pump supplied water through hoses to the wands. The driver finished watering trees and got back inside the cab of the truck. The driver continued to hold onto the water wand and proceeded to move the truck in a forward direction up the road, with the door remaining in the open position. While the truck was moving forward, it drove over one of the water hoses. The driver had to reverse the truck to free the hose from beneath the tire. While attempting to do this, the driver maintained his hold on the water wand and was pulled out from the cab of the truck. He fell to the ground and was run over by the truck. He sustained serious injuries.

Investigation conclusions

Cause

  • Unsafe work practice resulted in worker being run over. The driver repositioned the truck while half in and half out of the cab with the door open, still holding onto the water wand and allowing the water hose to drag on the ground. While he was repositioning the truck, the truck ran over the hose. When the driver reversed the truck in an attempt to free the hose, he was pulled out of the cab onto the road and run over by the truck. He sustained serious injuries. The unsafe practice of watering while keeping the truck running and in gear at the same time was a causal factor in this incident.

Contributing factors

  • Inadequate supervision. The superintendent supervising the two workers was aware of the driver's unsafe work practice but did not adequately supervise him. The investigation determined that this worker had, on a number of occasions, conducted the watering of trees in an unsafe manner that included leaving the truck running and in gear while he was outside of the truck. Adequate supervision would have prevented these unsafe acts from occurring.
  • No written safe work procedure. At the time of the incident, no written safe work procedures were available for the task of watering the boulevard trees. This permitted the worker to conduct this work in his own manner, which was unsafe.

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Publication Date: Feb 2020 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2016170150001