A 41-year-old self-employed logger was killed when the endloader he was driving down a steep mountain road rolled over. Recent rainfall had made the dirt road wet and muddy. Tire marks left in the mud indicated that as the vehicle began to slide downhill, it hit the right embankment, causing it to veer to the left side of the road and roll over several times before coming to rest at the bottom of the dropoff on its left side. The victim was ejected from the vehicle and was found lying facedown about halfway between the edge of the roadway and where the vehicle came to rest. A non-manufacturer-issued rollover protective structure (ROPS) had been welded to the endloader; however it was not able to sustain the weight of the machine during the rollover and was crushed in the fall. The vehicle was not equipped with a seatbelt. In order to prevent similar occurrences, FACE investigators recommend:
- All mobile equipment should be equipped with adequate rollover protective structures (ROPS) and operator restraint systems.
- Mobile equipment operators should assess terrain and weather conditions prior to beginning work.
- Equipment should be maintained in good working condition.
- When possible, operators of heavy equipment should not work alone.
- A countywide 911 emergency calling service should be initiated.
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, "Logger Killed in Endloader Rollover" (1995). Fatality Case Reports--Tractors/Logging. 44.