Frequent Skid Steer Accidents
An employee at a tractor implement dealership was cleaning debris from a wash bay using a skid-steer loader. This particular skid-steer loader was equipped with a manual seat bar as well as a pressure switch in the seat to detect the presence of an operator. The operator was able to leave the cab to wash the skid-steer loader bucket while it was still operational. The bucket was left sitting on its nose which prevented the loader arms from resting against the body of the vehicle as it was designed to do. This position made it difficult to enter and exit the cab. As the employee attempted to get back into the cab, he slipped and fell face-first into the cab seat. The loader arms dropped and caught him between the body of the skid-steer loader and the loader arms, and he was killed.
The two most commonly reported skid steer accidents are:
- Crushed by moving parts
- Rollover accidents
Other common skid steer accidents:
- Burn hazards
- High pressure fluid ejecting from the loader, causing injection injury
- Getting caught in rotating parts
Although skid steer loaders aren’t typically the largest piece of equipment on a jobsite, they are some of the most commonly used, which increases opportunities for hazards and accidents. In addition to their more frequent use, these “little loaders” have many features that can pose additional risks, like wheels that lock on each side so as to enable the loader to turn quickly and in small spaces. Because skid steer loaders are heavy, however, locking their wheels and maneuvering in small areas can easily tip them over. And because they are powered by diesel engines, they are also noisy and emit exhaust fumes, endangering ’ hearing and respiratory health (Farm Injury Resource Center).
To avoid these accidents, proper training is key! Here are some additional steps one should take to protect against frequent skid steer loader accidents:
- Operators should run a pre-operation safety check,
- take the time to verify that the attachment is securely locked onto the coupler and that it is the right size attachment for the job, and
- manage load limits properly (Compact Equipment).
For more on reporting and accident to OSHA click here.
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