Skip loaders are heavy equipment used to move a variety of materials and are used with frequency in construction and agriculture. They are also known as industrial loaders, front loaders, tractor loaders, and/or bucket loaders. The significant manufactures of skip loaders include Case, Caterpillar, John Deere, JCB, and New Holland.
Despite these machines being extremely useful they also pose substantial risks. Studies reveal they are responsible for a significant number of injuries and deaths each year. The most frequently reported cause of death and serious injury involving these machines are due to workers or operators being crushed. Generally when an accident occurs a skip loader’s operator is the first to be scrutinized for some type of failure in how he or she ran the machine. However, in some incidents, defective controls and faulty safety devices are discovered to be at fault for the accident.
Examples of workers being pinned between the skip-loader and another object
On one occasion a fatal accident occurred between a skip loader and a member of a road crew. As the crew worked on a project, a worker operating a skip loader was instructed to move the machine in order to allow vehicles, sharing the road, to pass by. As the operator began to move the skip loader forward the front-end of the loader struck his colleague, crushing him against the bed of a dump truck. The man did not survive his injuries.
Another skip loader accident in California involved a worker shoveling debris into a loader bucket. The loader was positioned directly in front of a backhoe. As the worker focused on his task the skip loader unexpectedly moved forward crushing him between the buckets of the two large machines. The worker was killed.
An additional example of this type of deadly accident involved two companies that were working on the same job site. One man was scooping grade by hand while the other worker from another company was using a skip loader to dig footings along a bank. At one point during the work day, the operator of the skip loader began to lift the bucket of his machine when he heard a scream. Unbeknownst to the operator, the bucket of the skip loader had pinned the other worker against the footing wall. Emergency Services were called and the seriously injured worker was transported to a nearby hospital; he was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the hospital.
Contact a California skip loader accident lawyer today
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe and debilitating injury caused by an accident with a skip loader, call the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm for experienced legal help. We have the resources available to take the necessary steps in investigating the scene of the accident, ensuring steps are made to persevere the evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building your claim all while protecting your rights. Call 916.714.8200 for a free case evaluation.