Summary Statement

A manual that helps a trainer provide information on a variety of roadway hazards, such as electrical, falls, slips and trips and ergonomics. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

This document is one in a program produced under an OSHA grant by a consortium of the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund N.A, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the American Road and Transportation Builders Assn, and the National Asphalt Pavement Assn. All of the documents from this set that are on eLCOSH can be found by clicking on Job Site, Heavy construction, and scrolling to the Street & highway heading. Or to download a complete version of the computerized program, go to

Case No. 1 - One Death - Electrocution

On March 1, 1990, a 29-year-old worker was electrocuted when he pushed the crane cable on a 1- yard cement bucket into a 7,200-volt power line.

The victim was a member of a crew that was constructing the back concrete wall of an underground water-holding tank at a sewage treatment plant.

Before work on the tank began, the company safety director made sure that insulated line hoses were placed over sections of the power line near the jobsite and that a safe clearance zone was marked off for arriving cement trucks to use for loading their cement buckets.

After the wall was poured, the driver of the cement truck cleaned the loading chute on his truck with a water hose mounted on the truck. As he began to pull away, the crew supervisor yelled to him, asking if the crew could use his water hose to wash out the cement bucket suspended from the crane.

The driver stopped the truck under the power line and the crane operator — not realizing that the truck had been moved — swung the boom to position the bucket behind the truck.

The victim grasped the handle of the bucket door and pushed down to open it, bringing the crane cable into contact with the power line. The victim provided a path to ground and was electrocuted [NIOSH 1990b].

Case No. 2 - Two Deaths - Electrocutions

On March 31, 1993, a 20-year-old male truck driver and his 70-year-old male employer, the company president, were electrocuted when the boom of a truck-mounted crane contacted a 7,200-volt conductor of an overhead power line.

The incident happened while the driver was unloading concrete blocks at a residential construction site. The driver had backed the truck up the steeply sloped driveway under a power line and was using the crane to unload a cube on concrete blocks.

The company president and a masonry contractor watched as the driver operated the crane by a hand-held remote-control unit. The driver was having difficulty unloading the blocks because the truck was parked at a steep angle.

While all 3 men watched the blocks, the tip of the crane boom contacted a conductor of the overhead line and completed a path to ground through the truck, the remote-control unit, and the driver.

The company president attempted to render assistance and apparently contacted the truck, completing a path to ground through his body. He died on the scene.

The truck driver was airlifted to a nearby burn center where he later died as a result of electrical burns [NIOSH 1993b].

Case No. 3 Backover

On June 10, 1997 at about 11:00 a.m., a 20-year-old male construction worker was struck by a Caterpillar Model 966D front end loader at a construction site and died 13 hours later. The victim was collecting manifests and directing the traffic flow for incoming trucks, which were unloading stone and sand at a concrete batch plant. After directing a dump truck to unload its load of sand, the victim was struck by the left rear of the front end loader as it was backing from the ramp leading to the sand and gravel hoppers.

The front end loader backed over the victim with the left rear tire, which caused severe thoracic injuries that resulted in the victim's death. At the time of the incident, the back up alarm and front horn on the front end loader were not operational.

Case No. 4 Runover

On July 7, 1998, a 35-year-old male laborer was run over by a dump truck during resurfacing operations on a 2-lane municipal road. The victim, part of the 8-person paving crew, was assigned to rake and finish the grade of the abutment between the new pavement and the existing concrete curb. For an unknown reason, the victim left the curbside of the road, walked around the front of the paving machine, and continued walking back along the road centerline. At the same time a dump truck, leaving the work zone, was traveling behind the victim in the adjacent lane. As the truck approached, the victim walked in front of the truck's right front bumper. He was not seen by the truck driver and was struck and run over by the right front wheel of the truck. Co-workers yelled to the driver to stop. But the driver did not immediately hear the warnings and continued to drive forward until the rear wheels of the truck contacted the victim's foot. When he heard the shouts he topped the truck and was directed to back up to free the victim. Co-workers notified emergency medical personnel who responded within 12 minutes. Resuscitation attempts were started and the victim was transported to a local hospital where he died about a half hour after arrival.

Case No. 5 Runover

A 27-year-old laborer died when a speeding vehicle struck him as he picked up traffic cones at a construction site on an interstate highway. The speed limit was 70 miles per hour.

The victim was in a man-bucket attached to the rear of a staked flatbed traffic control truck. This truck was traveling in reverse in the number3 lane of a 4-lane highway as the victim was picking up the cones between the numbers 3 and 4 lanes and placing them on the bed of the truck.

A speeding vehicle knocked down more than 300 feet of traffic cones before colliding with the rear of the traffic control truck, which was equipped with flashing lights and an arrow panel board.

There was no traffic truck with an impact attenuator between the speeding vehicle and the traffic control truck to prevent the collision.

Visibility at the time of the incident was limited due to the darkness at 3:45 a.m. The traffic control plan did not require reduction of the speed limit. Therefore, traffic continued to travel at the same limit despite the fact that 3 of the 4 lanes were closed for construction.

There were no law enforcement vehicles assigned to the construction site at the time of this incident.

Case No. 6 - Trench Fatality

An employee was working in a trench 4 feet wide and 7 feet deep. About 30 feet away a backhoe was straddling the trench. The backhoe operator noticed a large chuck of dirt falling from the side wall behind the worker in the trench. He called out a warning. Before the worker could climb out, 6 to 8 feet of the trench wall collapsed on him and covered his body up to his neck. He suffocated before the backhoe operator could dig him out. There were no exit ladders. No sloping or shoring had been used in the trench.

Case No. 7 - Trench Fatality

A 4-man crew was replacing a concrete filter tank at a car wash construction site. After the small tank had been removed, 2 employees entered the trench to hand grade the bottom. The trench was 9 feet deep, 14 feet long, and 6 feet wide. The trench had vertical faces which were not shored or sloped One face of the trench collapsed, fatally injuring one worker and causing serious injuries to the other. The OSHA safety training requirement had not been carried out at the time of the incident.

Back to Contents