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Investigation and Implications of a Compactor Fatality

[+] Author Affiliations
James R. Harris, Timothy Struttmann, Timothy R. Merinar

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Paper No. IMECE2005-80005, pp. 181-184; 4 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4230-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


A construction worker died August 18, 2003, when the compactor she was operating rolled over. A seatbelt and rollover protective structure (ROPS) were used by the operator. NIOSH investigators visited the scene of the incident and interviewed the employer, witnesses, and compactor manufacturer as part of NIOSH’s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program to gather additional incident detail and to collect relevant equipment dimensions. Analysis of the equipment dimensions and victim anthropometry indicate that it is unlikely that the victim’s head struck the ground during rollover if the victim remained seated. Information on ROPS penetration into the ground during overturn was not available and was not considered in this analysis. This incident highlights the need to have a formal established safety and training program where operators must be familiar with the owner’s manual for equipment they operate and demonstrate competence in operating the equipment. Additionally, protective equipment, such as a seatbelt, must be securely fastened to be effective.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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