A self-employed farmer died when an unsupported, raised front-end loader bucket fell as he repaired the hydraulics, crushing him against the front of the machine. There were no witnesses. It appears that the farmer raised the bucket to put the hydraulic system under load and find a leak. While looking, he moved under the raised bucket and tried to tighten a leaking metal hydraulic hose fitting. The fitting broke, allowing the hydraulic fluid to escape and the bucket to fall.

  • Never work under raised mobile equipment buckets, parts, or loads
  • Securely block or support any raised equipment part when anyone works on or underneath it
  • Don’t use car jacks to support heavy equipment as they can collapse suddenly
  • Lower the bucket to the ground if you can

Make sure the operator does not do anything that could harm someone working on or near the equipment.

  • Have a person regularly inspect your mobile equipment. If a defect is found, protect anyone in danger and repair the problem before operating the equipment
  • Keep an inspection and maintenance log to track service to equipment
  • Check before starting. Visually inspect your mobile equipment before starting it
  • Check the surrounding area to make sure no one could be hurt when the equipment is started or moved
  • Get help when you need it. If you or someone else works alone or in an isolated place:
    • identify the risks and do everything you can to eliminate or reduce them
    • set up an effective communication system (such as a radio or cell phone)
    • take other appropriate measures, such as regular check-ins, limiting or forbidding dangerous work, assigning dangerous jobs to experienced people, developing work procedures and providing emergency supplies
  • Plan the job. If you need to make repairs yourself, don’t rush into something you or your family may regret
  • Before starting, get everything you need to do the job right

Think about what could happen if things go wrong. Make sure your family knows where you are and what you’ll be doing.

  • Use professionals. Finally, if you’re not completely comfortable repairing your mobile equipment, get it professionally serviced. You could save your own life.

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is
already there.”

John Buchan

Berkley Industrial Comp is pleased to share this material with its customers. Please note, however, that nothing in this document should be construed as legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for general informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.