Fuel Truck Operator Fatality

This short presentation describes a preventable workplace incident where a worker in Washington state was killed on the job and is narrated by the L & I safety inspector who conducted the investigation. To view the narration script, click on the button on the lower right corner of the screen. To move between slides, or view a particular slide again, click on the same lower right hand corner button and then click on the back and forward arrows at the bottom of the screen.

Fuel Truck Operator FatalityDriver run over by his truck

Hello, this is Michael Crews, safety inspector with the Dept. of Labor & Industries Div. of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH). On May 26, 2009 I was assigned to investigate the death of a 67 year old fuel truck driver who was run over by his own fuel truck.

Slide 3

The truck driver was filling the gasoline tanks at this gas station from a fuel truck with an attached fuel trailer.

Slide 4

The truck was parked facing the small coffee shop in the distance.

Slide 5

The ground at the gas station sloped slightly towards the coffee shop at a four degree slope, as shown on this inclinometer.

Slide 6

When fuel was transferred to the underground tanks, the truck trailer became lighter than front end causing the center of gravity to shift to the front of the truck and putting a forward pull on the truck. When the driver removed the vent hose with the vent interlock which keeps the truck from moving, the truck starting rolling down the slight incline.

Slide 7

The truck began rolling down the slight incline toward the coffee shack as shown in this photo. The repair truck was not there at the time of the accident.

Slide 8

When the truck started rolling forward, the truck driver ran in front of the truck to get into the cab of the truck. Unfortunately he was not successful and was struck by the truck as it crashed into the coffee shack, sustaining fatal crushing injuries.

Slide 9

The truck was not equipped with wheel chocks similar to those shown in this photo. The safety procedure outlined in the American Petroleum Institute fuel truck manual is to apply the parking brake, and place wheel chocks under wheels to prevent accidental movement. Unfortunately, this was not done.

Slide 10

Although this employee had driven trucks for many years, he had not received training on the safe procedures of parking a fuel truck. The simple steps of chocking wheels to prevent this large truck from moving while parked would have prevented this tragic accident. Our goal is to make sure all employees return home from work safely. Help us keep Washington Safe and Working.