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Bulldozers Responsible for Many Workplace Deaths, Study Reports

Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in the country. In these dangerous environments, one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment that workers use is a bulldozer.

According to a study recently released by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Research File, from 1992 to 2003, about nine construction workers were killed each year while loading and unloading mobile equipment. In the majority of cases, bulldozers were the pieces of equipment involved in the fatalities.

The study also showed that heavy equipment operators suffered the majority of these fatalities. Other cases involved managers, truck drivers and construction laborers.

Causes of Bulldozer Fatalities

The study reports that in 75 percent of cases the cause of death was because of overturns of pieces of equipment as they were driven on or off of a trailer. In these cases, the majority of deaths occurred as workers were loading the equipment.

In addition, workers were killed by being struck by the mobile equipment or trailer, or being stuck between the equipment and trailer.

Preventing Bulldozer Accidents

While working around bulldozers and other heavy equipment can pose safety risks, workers can take steps to protect themselves. Some safety precautions that can be taken to prevent bulldozer fatalities include:

  • Turning off the motor and setting the brakes of a flatbed truck
  • Parking the flatbed truck or trailer on stable ground
  • Avoiding steep angles when loading and unloading equipment by making sure the trailer ramp is an adequate size

In addition to how the equipment is handled, safety experts also suggest that workers help each other to avoid accidents. In order for workers to stay safe, they should spot each other when operating and positioning equipment by giving directions to the driver, be alert as equipment is being loaded and unloaded and make sure that only an experienced employee is operating the equipment being loaded and unloaded at any given time.

If You Have Been Injured

If you have been injured in an accident on a construction site, contact a knowledgeable attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you get the workers' compensation benefits that you deserve. You may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A skilled attorney can help you navigate your way through the legal process and get the money that you need for your recovery.