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Worker struck after walking into path of loader

Date of incident: September 2015
Notice of incident number: 2015175160019
Employer: Sawmill

Incident summary

A worker had walked outside of the planer mill building to where the inventory of plastic lumber wrap rolls was stored. While walking away from the inventory area, the worker was struck by a loader travelling forward with a lift of lumber. The worker sustained serious injuries.

Investigation conclusions


  • Worker walked into path of loader after failing to check for traffic: While walking in the lumber yard areas, the worker failed to stop and make sure the intended route of travel across the established roadway was clear of oncoming loader traffic. The worker, unaware that a loader was approaching, walked into the roadway and was struck. The driver was performing duties consistent with normal workplace operation and training.

Underlying factors

  • Workplace policies were not followed: The worker was trained in the requirements and expectations for entering work areas where mobile equipment was known to operate. The worker was wearing the required safety equipment and clothing and had a personal radio that was set to the correct channel. However, the worker’s presence had not been fully communicated to the nearby workers and equipment operators in accordance with the policy. Although it is possible that the worker made a radio transmission, video evidence shows that when walking to the full roll storage area, the worker did not make positive contact with the driver of another loader while he was reversing and placing skids of scrap on the roadway. That driver was made aware that the worker was in the area when he saw the worker while operating his loader. A few minutes later, the worker did not make visual or radio contact with the driver of the loader in the incident before entering the roadway into the path of that loader.
  • Reduced visibility: Although the loader had the rightofway, the arrangement of people and equipment made it impossible for the driver to see the pedestrian and react to the impending collision in any way. The driver only became aware that a worker had been seriously injured after he looked in the rearview mirror. Additional visual aids might have improved the driver’s field of vision and provided an opportunity to alter the course or speed of the loader.

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Publication Date: Jul 2017 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2015175160019