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Dump Truck: A Near Miss

Dump Truck: A Near Miss

In your workplace, how often is a dump truck used to accomplish a job? Can you think of a time when you were standing around, minding your own business, whether on the job waiting to do a task, or in your normal everyday life and something happened that could have resulted in some level of injury or maybe even death? Now think about the thoughts and feelings surrounding that moment: the panic and fear, the pounding in your heart, the stark realization that you were one second away from never seeing your friends and family again. Especially in the workplace, this can happen with equipment and vehicles, especially trucks like a dump truck.

That was my experience two and a half years ago. I was working as a temp for the Department of Transportation in my home state, the project at hand was the construction of an overpass, with its accompanying on and off ramps. My assigned job was to take load tickets from the dump truck drivers who were hauling dirt onto the job site and enter the truck number and tonnage into a spreadsheet as part of the invoicing process. As I was waiting for the next exiting truck to pass by the designated ticket drop-off location, a side- dump truck entering the work area approached with its dump bed already partially tilted. Some dump truck drivers would do this, illegally, to save a couple seconds when dumping their load.

As the dump truck passed where I was standing, the driver of this particular truck somehow accidentally engaged the mechanism to fully tilt the bed to the dumping position. Before I realized what was going on, dirt, gravel, and rocks the size of melons were falling in front of me, rolling into my feet and legs. As I tried to remove myself from the area of danger, I was unable to retreat to a safe distance due to my own work vehicle blocking my exit path. I stood there, pinned between my truck and the shower of earth, not knowing what to do, or how to get away.  Fortunately, the incident passed without any physical harm done to my person.

While the whole situation could have been avoided had the dump truck driver been more responsible in operating his equipment, the blame cannot be placed solely on him. I had been advised by my supervisor to stand in front of my truck, with nothing behind me, in case a situation just like the one previously described took place. Had I been willing to take a few small steps to my right, I would have been able to put myself out of the potential danger which presented itself.

As was the case in my near miss, laziness, conscious neglect, bad habits and a lack of training can all play a significant role in causing accidents. In fact, they do every single day. So keep yourself from being able to say the same.

It is always important to be trained in each area of work that you will be performing, whether you will be operating a truck or not. Dump truck training, as well as many other types of training, can be found on our website or at the following links:

Dump Truck Training Kit

Dump Truck Online (eLearning) Training Courses

Onsite Training