Worker Dies When Van Strikes Truck, Pinning Him Underneath Hazard Alert

Topic: Worker Dies When Van Strikes Truck, Pinning Him Underneath
Date Issued: April 1, 2004 Date Revised:

Following an extensive paving project, a resident contacted the construction contractor to remove a pile of debris left at the end of their driveway. Two workers were assigned to do this at the end of the day. It was dusk, and the streetlights had just come on. The newly paved road provided a dark backdrop. The workers were wearing reflective vests, and their truck had the lights and four-way flashers on. The truck was pulled slightly over to the side of the road in direction of traffic.

A driver in a van proceeded up the road but did not see the workers or their truck. The van struck the rear of the vehicle, pinning a worker under the left rear wheel-well and causing fatal injuries.

Recommended Preventive Action

  • When buying reflective vests, check for compliance with the recent CSA Standard for retro-reflectivity and coverage.
  • Companies must evaluate workplace hazards and those associated with all tasks.
  • Develop a code of practice for short duration jobs outside of the realm of the definition of a “project site”.
  • The code of practice should include: PPE; signage; delineator cones; flagpersons, if necessary; vehicle lighting; associated hazard identification; and, employee training.
  • Ensure that construction debris such as tar, dirt or mud does not coat lights, reducing their visibility.
  • For night operations, consider visibility due to weather conditions, street lighting, traffic flow and patterns, and speed.

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