On Monday, March 31, 2003, a 39-year-old male (decedent) highway traffic technician, working alone, received fatal head injuries after falling out of the bucket of an aerial boom truck. Injuries sustained in the fall resulted in his death four days later. He was changing a burned-out green traffic bulb in a traffic signal suspended over 2 lanes of traffic. As he worked from the aerial lift suspended over traffic to change the burned out bulb, a cargo truck drove underneath the bucket, striking it, and causing the decedent to fall to the asphalt below. As the worker fell approximately 10 feet, an eye witness called emergency services. Paramedics arrived within minutes and transported the technician to a nearby hospital. From there, the technician was airlifted to a trauma level hospital where he died 4 days later due to head injuries.
To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:
Recommendation No. 1: Employees should use personal fall protection equipment in an aerial lift bucket at all times.
Recommendation No. 2: A Competent person should conduct a hazard assessment of the highway work zone and implement a safety plan.
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, "Traffic Technician Dies from Fall While Changing Traffic Signal Bulb" (2005). Fatality Case Reports--Motor Vehicle. 35.