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DHR - SAFETY ALERT MEMO 03-03

DATE: April 9, 2003

INCIDENT TYPE: Serious Injury

LOCATION: District 7

TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Litter Removal

THE ACCIDENT: On Thursday, March 20, 2003, on the northbound 405 freeway between Avalon and Main, a Caltrans Special Program Personnel (SPP) Crew had set up a shoulder closure for litter removal and manual weeding. At approximately 12:30 p.m., a SPP was standing at the rear of a Porta-Potty trailer when he was struck by an errant vehicle and severely injured. He sustained amputations of both legs above the knees. He was transported to Harbor General/UCLA Medical Emergency Room, where he underwent surgery and was later transferred to the ICU unit in critical condition. Also injured was another SPP that was standing next to the van when the impact of the accident threw him to the ground. He was transported to the hospital where he was treated for multiple contusions and lacerations then released. Two other SPP sustained minor injuries. One was treated for a contusion to right thigh caused by flying debris. The other sustained a cut hand, back pain and rib contusion that occurred while trying to run out of the way of the impact. The driver of the adverse vehicle was seriously injured.

CONCLUSIONS: This accident is currently being investigated by the CHP. No preliminary findings as to the cause of this accident have been released.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Always face oncoming traffic and don't stand or work near the back of vehicles. Before beginning new planned activities, review the appropriate portions of Chapter 8 of the Caltrans Maintenance Manual and the Maintenance Program Code of Safe Operating Practices.

 

HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF HEALTH AND SAFETY SERVICES (916) 227-2740

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