AUSTRALIA – It can’t be easy to flip a large haul truck, but it did happen in September at Hanking Gold’s Cornishman open pit, and the operator was killed. He fell 3.75 metres to the hard packed, rocky ground.
The operator was not wearing a seatbelt.
Similar accidents have occurred in the United States wherein the haul truck tips over, the operator falls out and is killed. Likewise, those drivers were not belted in.
We (CMJ readers and editors alike) know to use our seatbelts without exception when we slip into our private vehicles, and we make sure our passengers use theirs. With slippery winter roads upon us, we will be extra vigilant.
Why anyone who might potentially be ejected from the cab of an off-highway truck – the equivalent of falling from the roof of a two-storey house – would not use a seatbelt is a mystery. Obviously, the consequences can be fatal. Even if the operator bounces around the cab without being ejected, the resulting injuries could require a hospital stay and prolonged recovery.
Use your seatbelt at every opportunity and live to tell the tale.
This is of course very sad, and yet preventable. The vast majority, (well in excess of 90%), of accidents, and near misses are preventable.