LOG TRUCK COLLIDES WITH TRAIN
BACKGROUND: A log truck driver was driving a loaded, company-owned truck on a clear and dry summer day in the South.
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: The 30-year old truck driver had worked for the company for six months. The company had a formal safety plan that regulated the use of its trucks but did not enforce the plan. The truck driver was paid by the load and was constantly warned to slow down and to buckle his seat belt.
UNSAFE ACT OR CONDITION: In a hurry to get to the mill, and with radio music blaring loudly, he pulled out of the woods and headed down a hill towards a railroad crossing. He did not reduce his speed and ran through the stop sign at the crossing. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
ACCIDENT: An on-coming train hit the right side of the truck as the truck crossed the tracks.
INJURY: The truck driver was violently jostled inside the cab, broke his left arm in two places, and suffered serious facial trauma. He was unable to return to work for eight months.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTION:
- Obey traffic laws, including stop signs.
- Approach every crossing as if a train were coming. Consider reaction time, crossing conditions, train speed, truck and train braking times, weather conditions, and the number of tracks. Expect a train at any time.
- Pay attention to traffic conditions and turn the radio volume down when approaching railroad crossings. Stop, look, and listen.
- Use your seat belt.
Southcentral Technical Division Forester