October 2014

Safety Notes

Accident Report

  • Incident | Worker struck by 700-pound door
  • Business | Waste disposal
  • Employee | Laborer

Two employees and a forklift operator were assigned the task of attaching a black plastic liner inside a 20-yard-long dumpster. To enter the dumpster, the employees had to raise the dumpster's 700-pound tophinged steel door.

safety notes illustration
A worker was fatally injured when a 700-pound door struck him in the head.

The company procedure required a forklift to lift the door with its forks and required an employee to install two door stands to prop the door open and secure them with bolts. However, neither employee had been trained how to set up and properly secure the door stands, nor had they seen the company's procedure for raising the door.

The forklift raised the dumpster door and one of the employees supported it with a single door stand, but he did not secure it. The forklift operator lowered the forks and backed away.

The two employees entered the dumpster and attached the liner. After they finished, one of them stepped out of the container. Then, as the other employee backed out, he bumped into the door stand and knocked it out from under the door. The 700-pound door swung down and struck him in the head.


437-001-0760 (1) (a) – The employer did not ensure that workers were properly instructed and supervised in the safe operation of any machinery, tools, equipment, process, or practice which they were authorized to use or apply. Penalty: $7,000.

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