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DHR - SAFETY ALERT MEMO 99-03

DATE: March 9, 1999

INCIDENT TYPE: Serious Injury

LOCATION: District 7

TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Repairing Sprinkler Riser

THE ACCIDENT: On January 7, 1999, 2 Caltrans employees were repairing sprinkler risers on the 210 freeway at Angels Crest Highway. They were working approximately 40 feet from the fog line near an offramp. The broken risers had been dug out and one of the Caltrans employees had gone to the control box to blow out the water line. The control box was located approximately 12 feet from the fog line on a tangent portion of the offramp. At approximately 10:45, as the Caltrans employee was working on the control box, a vehicle drifted off the ramp. The vehicle struck the Caltrans employee and continued through the landscaped section to the top of the ramp and turned right onto Angels Crest Highway where the driver was detained by another motorist. The Caltrans employee suffered a broken leg and pelvis and internal bleeding.

CONCLUSIONS: When working near the traveled way for any amount of time, workers must be aware of the hazards from errant vehicles. Even though the work area may be some distance from the traveled way, the threat of errant vehicles still exists.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Always face traffic and if two or more persons are working close together, a lookout may be necessary. See Chapter 8.14 (Working Near Moving Traffic) and Chapter 8.16 (Warning Systems – Lookouts) for guidelines. Plan your work so that you have an escape route. Use physical protection whenever possible. Any size vehicle can be used as a barrier so consideration should be given to parking your vehicle to provide protection.

HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF SAFETY AND HEALTH (916) 227-2640

Released 3/12/99

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