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Worker injured while securing car to tow truck dolly

Date of incident: June 2016
Notice of incident number: 2016156050034
Employer: Auto towing company

Incident summary
A worker was attempting to tow a vehicle in the underground parking garage of a residential building. The worker was using a wheel dolly lifting system. While the worker was attempting to secure the left rear tire of the vehicle, the lever bar on the lifting system became lodged between the wheel dolly and a concrete pillar. The worker attempted to free the bar by pulling the wheel dolly’s release handle. The lever bar sprang forward and struck the worker, causing serious injuries.

Investigation conclusions


  • Worker pulled dolly release handle with dolly lever bar in place. The worker was unable to remove the dolly lever bar from the dolly bar pocket of the lifting system. It is believed the worker pulled the dolly lever bar toward himself at an angle, trying to get the lever bar past the concrete pillar and into the lock position. Under pressure from the weight of the car, the bar became lodged against the side of the dolly bar pocket and against the concrete pillar and could not be removed. The worker pulled the dolly release handle in an attempt to free the lever bar. The momentum of the vehicle releasing allowed the dolly lever bar to spring forward, striking the worker.

Contributing factors

  • No safe work procedures for wheel dolly operation. The employer had no safe work procedures for the safe use and operation of the wheel dolly. Specifically, such procedures should have been developed to address hazards such as the dolly lever bar and dolly obstructions, and methods of safely releasing the dollies.

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Publication Date: Aug 2020 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2016156050034