The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a bulletin outlining the hazards of unintended movement of dump truck body beds. Over a 10 year period, there were 31 truck accidents documented involving elevated truck beds that either fell or released without warning, causing an big-rig accident. Most of the crashes were fatal.
Truck manufacturers issue strong, heavy supports known as “body props” for use during maintenance of dump trucks. The body props are nonadjustable and often support the truck bed at an angle which does not allow for enough room to complete routine maintenance tasks. Thus they are either not used, or are used improperly. Typical troubleshooting or maintenance jobs being performed when the truck accident occurred include repairs to hydraulic pumps, air or hydraulic lines, framework welding, electric wiring, release cables, or routine greasing. Sometimes the body props failed, or there was unanticipated movement of the dump body, either through accidental pulling of the release cable, accidental operation of the controls, hydraulic failure, or premature reconnection of an airline.
Employers Are Being Proactive About Solutions
The rear of a truck is where technicians need to have access for common repairs to hoses and electric lines, as well as the control cables and hydraulic motors. If the body prop issued by the truck manufacturer does not allow for the proper angle for the workers to do their job, then the employer must provide for a safe alternative or additional protection against movement of the truck bed. One employer was able to do this by developing a prototype for a set of braces that can be used on any brand of dump box that allows for safe access to the back of the truck. In contrast to this example are employers that use makeshift props made of steel beams or wooden blocks that cannot be secured and could easily shift should the truck move for any reason.
OSHA recommends that employers contact the truck manufacturer to determine if an alternative body prop with different dimensions is available, or about other alternative methods of supporting the truck bed if the standard body prop is not suitable for the job being performed.
Cherry Hill Truck Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Victims of Truck Accidents
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a truck accident, the experienced Cherry Hill truck accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help you win the compensation you deserve. Call us at 856-414-0010 for a free consultation about your case, or contact us online.