Worker struck, killed by outrigger

These flashes summarize the key matters and incidents, allowing wider dissemination of lessons learnt form them. The information below has been provided in a good faith by members and should be reviewed  individually by recipients, who will determine it’s relevance to their own operations.

Case report: #14-MA-003-01*
Issued by: Massachusetts Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: Feb. 4, 2014

worker-struck-killed-by-outriggerA 48-year-old foreman was killed while repairing a water line break. The victim was inside an excavated hole in a roadway. A backhoe loader was positioned near the trench with its outriggers extended and bucket attachment resting inside of a dump truck. The backhoe loader was unintentionally pulled forward when the dump truck was driven forward. As the backhoe loader was pulled forward, the outrigger on the right side struck the victim and dragged him out of the hole. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner listed the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries to the head and torso.

To prevent future occurrences:



  • Ensure excavating equipment is moved away from the excavation edge and all attachments are lowered to the ground before workers enter the excavation.
  • Ensure the operator performs a walkaround to warn workers on foot that equipment will be moved.
  • Consider closing roadways when the work area is located in a roadway and limited space is available.
  • Develop and enforce a safety and health program that addresses hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions. Ensure work environments meet all relevant OSHA regulations.
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