Backing manoeuvre results in loaded rock truck leaving road & upside down

Safety Alert Type: 
Road Building/Deactivation
Location: 
Nootka Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2016-02-24
Company Name: 
Strathcona Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The driver of an articulated rock truck was hauling talus rock from a pit location, following loading by an excavator. Because the haul distance was very short, the truck was backing up to dump loads. Although previous trips had been completed that day, this was the first load to be hauled from this particular direction. Road grade and width were not an issue at this location and, although the road alignment featured a slight curve, it was not significant.

The rock truck driver was backing up using only the drivers’ side mirror until he noticed the truck was edging away from the ditch line. He turned his head to check the outside mirror but by this time it was too late, as the truck box was already going over the bank. To this point, the truck had backed up less than 37 metres from his loading point at the excavator.

The box of the truck continued over the fill slope, rolling over as it went. This caused the cab of the truck to follow, but in a more abrupt manner as it attempted to “catch up” to the angle of the box. The entire truck came to rest upside down, only prevented from rolling further down the slope by the presence of a large cedar tree (see photos in attached pdf).

The rock truck driver sustained a cracked rib, bruising and concussion. The driver reported that he was wearing his seatbelt.

Damage assessment of the truck continues to determine if further repairs are needed beyond some cosmetic body damage and broken glass.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1) Prior to moving equipment initially, the operator should capture a mental picture of the worksite and become familiar with their surroundings, taking note of any items of particular interest, such as:

  • Road width and alignment
  • Grades
  • Potential soft shoulders and/or narrow shoulders
  • Estimated distances to locations of concern (culvert crossings, pullout locations, etc)

2) An obvious recommendation is to check behind using BOTH mirrors PRIOR to backing up

3) Use both mirrors WHILE backing up.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Strathcona Contracting Ltd. (250) 286-1148

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Strathcona Contracting Ltd_2016-2-24.pdf
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