Worker suffers amputation as lowbed crushes foot

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Location: 
Timberlands Pit (Nanaimo, BC)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2014-02-24
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A lowbed driver and grader operator began preparation to unload a grader. The operator got into the grader to start it up. At this time, the driver saw him in the grader and began to prepare to pull ahead to unhook from the lowbed trailer.

During the time it took the driver to ready the truck to pull away, the operator had gotten out of the grader and didn’t know the driver was already in the truck. He thought the driver was outside taking the tie-downs off on the driver’s side of the truck and proceeded to take the tie-downs off at the front passenger side of the lowbed.

The driver looked and thought the operator was still in the grader and pulled the truck away, which lowered the lowbed to the ground and caught the operator’s foot under the corner of the lowbed.

The emergency response plan was successfully enacted. The operator sustained injury to two toes on his left foot, requiring partial amputation of the big toe.

Both workers assumed that they knew what the other was going to do and proceeded accordingly. The driver did not develop a plan with the grader operator to safely unhook the lowbed trailer and unload the grader.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Put a notice out to remind workers that the truck driver is in charge when loading or unloading is taking place. They must follow the driver’s directions at all times.

• Stress the importance of all workers being visible to the driver or operator and in the clear before unloading takes place.

• Do not make assumptions.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Copcan Contracting Ltd. (250) 754-7260

File attachments
Worker suffers amputation as lowbed crushes foot.pdf
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