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DHR - SAFETY ALERT MEMO 96-01

DATE: January 29, 1996

INCIDENT TYPE: Critical Injury

LOCATION: District 12

TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Landscape Maintenance

THE ACCIDENT: On January 18, 1996, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Caltrans Landscape Maintenance Worker Luz E. Sanchez was critically injured when she was struck by an errant vehicle while working on the shoulder of north bound Highway 57 in Yorba Linda. Ms. Sanchez was working in a landscaped area approximately 10 feet from the edge of the paved shoulder. As she was spraying herbicide from a sprayer mounted in the back of a pick-up, an errant vehicle drifted from the #4 lane onto the shoulder and into the landscaped area. The vehicle struck Ms. Sanchez and the back of the Caltrans vehicle. Ms Sanchez suffered numerous injuries and was transported to a local hospital. As of January 29, 1996, her condition is still listed as critical.

CONCLUSIONS: The cause of this accident is currently under investigation. Preliminary reports indicate that the driver of the errant vehicle may have suffered a diabetic seizure.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Remain alert and cautious when working in landscaped areas, even though they may be well off the traveled way.

* Always face traffic

* Use your vehicle for physical protection

* Be alert for possible escape routes

* Do not stand or work near the back of vehicles

* Do not work directly in front of vehicles

  

HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF SAFETY AND HEALTH (916) 227-2640

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