Killed While Acting as a Spotter (KV 196)


What Happened?

At 9:15 a.m. on July 10, 2014, an employee was working as a driver for a firm engaged in long-distance specialized freight trucking. He and another driver, a coworker, were standing outside their heavy hauling trucks. They were inspecting the area to see if the coworker could clear a load of steel pipe that was lying next to an area where the trailer needed to travel. The employee was standing near the left rear axle when he motioned the coworker to pull forward. The employee was acting as a spotter. The employee motioned to the coworker to pull forward. The coworker pulled his trailer forward not knowing that the spotter was not far away enough from the tires. As the coworker pulled forward, the tires of his truck's trailer ran over the employee. The employee sustained multiple blunt force injuries and traumatic asphyxiation. He was killed.

Contributing Factors

There were no contributing factors known.

What Can We Learn?


The spotter may have been Distracted causing him to not pay enough attention to the trailer’s proximity to himself.

The spotter may have given Vague Guidance when signaling the driver to pull forward causing the driver to run him over.


Could the worker have used a Questioning Attitude to consider the consequences of being a spotter that close to the trailer?

Could have using Effective Communication (3-Part Communication/Repeat Backs/Avoiding Vague Guidance) prevented this death?   

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?