Skid-steer loader operator killed when vehicle knocked off balance

by on June 10, 2014 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

A skid-steer loader operator was killed during renovations of Kyle Field Stadium at Texas A&M University, and OSHA’s subsequent investigation led the agency to issue willful citations to two contractors.

Lindamood Demolition, Inc., was the employer of the vehicle operator, Angel Garcia, 25. It faces $56,000 in penalties for a willful violation of “routinely” overloading the skid-steer loaders. The company was also placed in OSHA’s severe violators program, and so will face follow-up inspections and potentially higher fines for subsequent violations. OSHA alleges the company’s workers frequently overloaded the equipment with concrete until they saw signs of tipping.

Texas Cutting & Coring faces $63,000 in fines for a willful violation, for allegedly exposing workers to struck-by hazards from falling concrete and the steer-skid loader.

The accident occurred about seven stories up in the stadium. Garcia was using the loader to stabilize a ton-and-a-half concrete stub. A Texas Coring employee cut the stub from its support column; the unbalanced load knocked the vehicle over a ramp wall. The loader fell seven stories to the ground. It hit a horizontal beam during the fall and the operator was thrown from the loader. Garcia died hours later at a local hospital.

Take home: By OSHA’s accounts, safety was lax on this worksite. A lesson even good companies can take home, however, is that multi-employer worksites can sometimes create situations where it’s unclear who is responsible for safety. When working with other companies, make it clear who is responsible for safety, what the safety procedures are, and who will enforce them.

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