ICY CONDITIONS CONTRIBUTE TO LOG TRUCK CRASH
BACKGROUND: A log truck driver was driving an empty truck to a remote logging job site on a snowy November morning in the Lake States. Three inches of fresh snow had fallen on the pavement, causing slushy conditions. The truck travel route was rolling and had many curves.
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: The independent truck driver was approximately 45 years old and had driven a truck during most of his working career. The trucker specialized in hauling forest products and had a reputation for fast turnarounds and high production.
UNSAFE ACT OR CONDITION: The truck driver was traveling to the job site for his second load of the day and approached a curve in the road at an excessively high speed.
ACCIDENT: The slushy conditions caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The log truck slid off the road and crashed into a line of trees.
INJURY: The driver received massive injuries and could not receive prompt medical attention due to the remoteness of the accident. He died as a result of his injuries.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTION: Log truck drivers should identify dangerous road conditions and adapt to those conditions in order to operate safely. About 70 percent of deaths related to ice and snow occur in motor vehicles. Truck drivers who survive the crash may succumb to the dangers of hypothermia. See this issue's Technical Release 00-R-6, "Cold Weather Safety Training Tips."
Minnesota Log Safe Program
Minnesota Dept. of Labor And Industry
P.O. Box 392
Hibbing, Minnesota 55719-0392
Paul M. Klocko
Lake States Technical Division Manager
Please follow equipment manufacturers' recommendations for safe operation and maintenance procedures.