TRUCK DRIVER TWISTS KNEE IN WOODYARD
BACKGROUND: On a winter evening at a Pacific Northwest mill, a chip truck driver, while collecting a load under a bunker, was walking from the cab to the trailer.
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: The chip truck driver had only five weeks' experience on this particular job, but had 18 total months' experience and was a graduate of a certified driving school. The driver was wearing a hard hat and had adequate supportive footwear.
UNSAFE ACT OR CONDITION: The driver was collecting a load a little after dark. While walking back to check on the rear of the trailer, he walked through what appeared to be a shallow puddle. The driver may not have been paying close enough attention to the ground.
ACCIDENT: The puddle was covering what turned out to be a deep pothole. The driver stumbled, falling on the knees, and twisted a knee while falling.
INJURY: The driver sustained abrasions and a severe sprain of the knee. Treatment required a brace, rest, and 30 days' lost time. An additional 30 days of light duty was required before the driver resumed a full work schedule.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTION:
- Drivers should always remain alert to ground hazards.
- The mill should repair potholes in a timely manner.
- Lighting for nighttime activities should be reviewed and upgraded as necessary.
Western Technical Division Forester
Please follow equipment manufacturers' recommendations for safe operation and maintenance procedures.