Heavy loads: Soil exerts tremendous pressure during cave-ins

The accident: Working in the December cold, a utility construction worker was helping install a sewer line in a 25- to 30-foot-deep trench. A steel trench box was in the excavation but was not large enough to reach the bottom of the trench.

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Don’t slip up: Fall protection keeps missteps from being fatal

The accident: A 42-year-old ironworker foreman was working on a structural steel beam roof. After a crane lifted a beam into position, the foreman noticed it needed adjusting, and set out to use a hammer to straighten it. The area where he needed to work had been barricaded with wire rope safety lines on all four sides, but he removed these lines to gain access to the beam. He was not using fall protection.

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Know when to park it: Steep slopes, unstable ground can put you in perilous position on a roller

The accident: A 41-year-old roller operator was working on a road extension when his machine rolled sideways down steep embankment. The man was partially ejected, crushed and killed by the machine as it rolled.

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Not so fast: Before you attach a bucket, take a closer look at your quick coupler

The accident: During a water main installation, a crew member entered a newly dug lateral excavation, preparing to install pipe. Using a quick coupler, an excavator operator changed buckets and swung the machine over to the trench to continue digging on the main line. The bucket detached and fell into the excavation, killing the man in the trench.

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A safe exit: Make sure you’ve locked out controls before leaving a cab for any reason

The accident: A man stopped to clear debris from a dozer, getting out of the cab. When the dozer started to move, he tried getting back behind the controls, but slipped off the machine and was crushed beneath it.

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Asphalt paver precautions: These wide machines require the crew’s attention

The accident: One crew member started to move an asphalt paving machine, and struck another laborer, who became trapped under the machine. The paver operator left the site before emergency personnel pronounced the laborer dead.

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Strap yourself in: Once in the cab, truck safety begins with a seat belt

The accident: Operating a truck, an operator lost control as he backed toward a steep embankment to dump a load of dirt. The truck began sliding backwards and did at least one complete rotation before coming to a stop. The operator, who was not wearing a seat belt, sustained head and torso injuries and was taken away from the site in critical condition.

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Hazards of the road: Working is a two-pronged safety proposition; both you and the drivers need to be on high alert

The accident: A worker was cutting concrete along the white center line of a four-lane highway. Orange reflective barrels closed the left lane to traffic, which was routed to a single lane.

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Just 14 ounces: That’s how much the average safety hard hat weighs

The near accident: A New York State Department of Transportation worker started sand blasting a bridge in preparation for painting. Although it’s a departmental rule that hard hats must be worn, the job circumstances seemed safe. He wasn’t under traffic, nor was he under an overhead hazard. But several feet away from the worker, a steel hatch suddenly blew off the top of the pressure blasting equipment. The 100-pound hatch flew through the air and struck the worker square on the top of his head.

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Steer clear: Be alert, aware and where you’re supposed to be

The accident: A laborer was tasked with moving mortar from the mixer to the jobsite’s staging area. The mortar was located under a tarp-covered area. Exiting the tarp area backwards and in a crouched position, the worker did not see a skid steer operating nearby.

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Dump truck dangers: Stay away from backing vehicles

The accident: Two dump truck drivers in a work zone were instructed to switch trucks. One of the drivers exited his truck and walked to the rear towards the other vehicle.

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Emergency exit: Proactive planning will help you escape in the event of a tip-over

The accident: The owner of an excavating company was digging test holes near a gravel pit pond to determine soil composition for a potential construction project. To access the opposite side of the pond, the contractor drove the excavator on the sloped bank next to the water’s edge. The bank sheared away, causing the excavator to tip over into the pond onto the cab…

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Trailering troubles: Use your best practices when driving machines on and off a trailer

The accident: The owner of a small construction company that performed excavation work was preparing to backfill a pond. He had transported a dozer to the site on a flatbed trailer, which he parked on a road with a 7-percent grade. While backing the dozer to the rear of the trailer, the machine slipped off the trailer’s down grade edge…

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A crushing blow: Secure yourself in the event of a rollover

The accident: A worker was operating a compactor on a dirt ramp as part of a highway expansion. While she was backing the unit for another pass, the compactor slipped off the edge of the road surface and tipped, partially throwing her from the machine and pinning her underneath the rollover protective structure.

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Trench troubles: Shortcuts can be deadly

The accident: A subcontractor was removing old gas, storm and sanitary sewer lines on a site to prepare for new utility lines. A laborer was working in an 8-foot-deep trench on the abandoned gas line, which was a 600-foot-long high pressure line with a 10-inch steel casing…

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Fuel tank troubles: Take special precautions when welding on diesel tanks

The accident: A welder had been instructed to find the leak on a truck’s diesel fuel tank. Once he located the leak, the worker was assigned the task of using a MIG/Flux welder to repair the tank. When the welder struck an arc with the torch on the tank, the tank exploded.

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Be wary of work zones: Know how to stay safe when there’s a lot going on

The accident: A heavy equipment operator was part of a crew working on a resurfacing project for a county road. In need of a restroom, but with none available…

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Dangerous demo: Demolition work is unpredictable — be ready for any hazard

The accident: A construction company was demolishing a two-story warehouse. A large portion of the building had already been razed when the second floor collapsed…

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