Runaway vehicles not properly secured, report finds

WorkSafeBC says a dump truck, trailer, and excavator that went over a bank in Nelson last month weren’t properly secured.

WorkSafeBC says a dump truck, trailer, and excavator that went over a bank in Nelson last month weren’t properly secured.

An inspection report noted that on Nov. 14, an excavator was being loaded onto a trailer connected to a dump truck that was facing down Anderson St. on a 12 per cent grade.

As the excavator was being driven up the trailer ramp, its weight caused the trailer tongue to lift the rear of the dump truck, enough to overcome the truck’s ability to hold the unit on the slope.

The truck-trailer unit went down the road and veered over an embankment. The operator jumped from the excavator as the unit began to run away and was later taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Although the wheel of the front trailer axle had been chocked, it wasn’t effective at holding the trailer.

Contributing factors included the wet road, pebbles on the street dropped by the city due to previous icy conditions, the steepness of the hill, and the lack of a parking brake on the trailer.

WorkSafeBC said the incident contravened occupational health and safety regulations that require operators not to leave the controls of a vehicle unattended unless secured against inadvertent movement.

The employer, Royal E. Holdings Ltd., has been ordered to develop assessment procedures to ensure its trucks and trailers are secured prior to loading equipment.