DATE: November 25,
INCIDENT TYPE: Serious
TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY:
THE ACCIDENT: On October
31, 2003 two Caltrans design engineers along with a private contractor
were inspecting a culvert that runs beneath Highway 1 just outside the
San Luis Obispo city limits. The contractor had parked his 4x4 Chevy
pick-up on the shoulder about four feet behind the Caltrans Ford pickup
and next to the guardrail. The men then left the highway on foot and
went down an embankment to inspect a culvert. A rainstorm passed over
and dropped a slight amount of rain on the roadway. After a short time
the men returned to their vehicles and prepared to leave. The contractor
walked between his vehicle and the Caltrans vehicle just as a Ford Ranger
crashed into the rear of his truck. This forced the contractor's pick-up
forward pinning him between the two vehicles. One of the Caltrans design
engineers was struck by the contractor's truck and knocked into the
guardrail. The contractor sustained serious injuries and the Caltrans
engineer had some slight bruising to the left leg.
reviewing this accident it became very evident that the contractor did
not look towards traffic before walking between the vehicles and that
the vehicles were parked very close together. An inspection of the accident
scene revealed a pullout just yards from the point of impact where all
of the vehicles could have been parked completely off the roadway.
staff should be reminded of the following safety procedures:
- Plan all work prior to
leaving for the field and include safety precautions in your plan.
- When arriving at work
locations select a parking site that provides the maximum protection.
- Park vehicles to provide
physical protection while working on foot.
- Always be alert to the
conditions around you.
- Always face moving traffic.
- Enter your vehicle from
the off-traffic side if possible.
- Reduce exposure by staying
behind a guardrail, K-rail or other obstacle whenever possible.
- Minimize the amount of
time spent on foot near moving traffic.