Unsafe Truck Trailer Door Causes Significant Brain Injury

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on December 12, 2017

Trucking Expert WitnessThis case involves a worker who was performing his job at a receiving facility for an electrical generation facility that burnt garbage. At the time of the incident in question, the man was helping to empty a truck that had just arrived at the facility. The driver of the truck was still in the cab, and suddenly attempted to leave the loading dock while the other worker was behind it. This caused the door on the truck’s trailer to swing closed rapidly, striking the worker on the head and rendering him unconscious. Since the accident, the man has continued to experience cognitive difficulties.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is the policy and procedure for operating a similar truck?

Expert Witness Response E-010114

I have worked in the construction industry for over 20 years and deal with heavy equipment and transport vehicles daily. In any case in which heavy equipment and / or haul trucks are utilized there should be set rules by the employer such as safe operating zones, spotters and equipment lock out, tag out procedures to ensure worker safety. Every accident is preventable if workers are trained properly and an a culture of safety is develop and maintained within the organization. Trucks of this type should have have swing gate safety chains that hold the door in place. Once the vehicle is in position and the air brakes are set the operator would exit the vehicle. The operator would ensure the is a safe zone in which to dump. The operator would open the swing gate and utilize the holding chain, locking in place in order to hold the door along the side of the bed or roll off box. The operator would reenter the truck release the parking / air brakes and start to dump the bed or roll off box moving the truck forward if needed in order to expel all debris. The operator would then drop the bed or roll off box back down set the parking / air brake. The operator would exit the vehicle and shut the swing gate and engage the safety lock in order to secure the swing gate.

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