Winter 2015

Chesapeake Employers is committed to helping our policyholders and their employees work safely on the job. As part of that service, we want to alert you to several severe injuries recently reported to Chesapeake Employers. In addition, we are sharing general safety guidelines that may help prevent accidents like these from happening at your workplace. Please share these injury alerts with your employees during a Toolbox Talk or safety meeting. Our hope is that sharing these alerts will remind workers of the important message that workplace safety saves lives.

The accidents and injuries are summarized as a general advisory only. Some of these exposures may or may not be applicable to your workplace.

1.  Refuse collection worker run over by trash truck

A sanitation worker was jumping onto the step of the garbage truck when the worker slipped and fell and then was run over by the trash truck. The injured worker was transported to and treated at a local hospital where the worker was diagnosed with two fractured ankles, three dislocated toes, and a fractured shin. 

General residential refuse collection safety guidelines:

  • Riders and drivers should be trained to recognize potential hazards around the refuse collection vehicle, including blind spots, tight spots and heavy traffic areas.

  • All refuse collection workers should wear high-visibility reflective vests to enhance visibility and slip-resistant footwear to prevent falls.

  • Train your riders on how to safely mount, hold on securely and then dismount to avoid falls and reduce body strain.

  • Drivers should follow safe backing procedures, including the use of designated spotters and verbal and non-verbal communication to direct the truck when backing up.

  • Riders should never climb onto the back of a refuse collection truck, including the rear loading sill and riding steps, while the truck is backing up.

  • Warning signs should be posted above the riding steps to prohibit their use when traveling at speeds above 10 miles per hour or when backing.

  • Riding steps should provide a self-cleaning, slip resistant surface.

  • Maintain visual contact between the driver and workers on foot when working close to the vehicle and when backing.

  • Workers should be required to wear slip resistant sole shoes.

Chesapeake Employers’ Safety Training Sheet - Refuse Collector Safety
For more information:
For more detailed safety tips:

There are no specific OSHA standards per se but there are consensus standards by ANSI and National Solid Waste Management Association referenced in the above sites.

2. Hospitality worker falls down stairs on first day on the job

A young hospitality worker, who was on the first 15 minutes at a new job, fell down a set of metal stairs.  The injured worker was taken to a local hospital where the worker was diagnosed with bilateral fractured shoulder blades and a fractured vertebrae. The worker did not have any surgeries, but was placed in a brace for an expected three month recovery.

Hospitality worker general safety guidelines to prevent slip and fall injury:

  • Provide new hospitality workers a complete tour of their physical workplace. Point out any locations in the workplace that may have specific safety cautions. For example: storage and kitchen areas, overhead or trapdoor/basement type access and staircases.

  • Conduct safety training as part of any new employee’s first day on the job.

  • Workers should immediately clean up food and liquid spills and set up safety cones to identify wet areas.

  • Workers should wear waterproof non-slip footwear to help prevent slips and falls. 

  • Employers should keep floors, aisles, walkways and stairwells well-lit and clear of obstructions.

  • Employers should use non-slip mats in slippery areas such as around sinks and stoves.

  • Employers should provide adequate drainage for wet areas and replace any drain covers that have come loose.

  • Employers should repair any uneven floor surfaces.

For information specifically for youth working in restaurants:

3. Roofer falls through temporary panels over a construction opening

A roofer whose safety harness was not yet tied off was in the process of setting up for working on a roof to replace some temporary fiberglass panels. While walking across the roof, the worker fell through one of the panels that was to be replaced and the worker landed 35 feet below on a concrete surface.

The injured worker was transported to a local trauma hospital where the worker was diagnosed with a compression fracture to the skull along with a small brain bleed, fractured facial bones, wrist and elbow.  The worker’s facial fractures were repaired and the bilateral arm injuries were also surgically repaired. The injured worker remains in the Critical Care Unit.

Roofing and elevated work general safety guidelines:

4. Marina worker falls 10 feet from scaffolding

A worker self-employed as a boat detailer was working at a local marina and was up on scaffolding waxing a boat. The worker lost footing and fell approximately 10 feet onto concrete, hitting the head.

The injured worker was transported to a local trauma hospital where the worker was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage and left temporal bone fracture. The injured worker’s condition did improve and required no surgery for the injuries. The worker was transferred to a local trauma brain injury rehab unit and was eventually discharged home.

Safety guidelines for working on scaffolds:

  • Workers on a scaffold more than 10 feet above a lower level must be protected from falls by the use of personal fall arrest systems and/or guardrail systems. 1926.451(g)(1)(vii).

  • The employer shall have a competent person determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds. Employers are required to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds where the installation and use of such protection is feasible and does not create a greater hazard. 1926.451(g)2

  • Fall protection is required, regardless of the height, when employees are working above or adjacent to dangerous equipment. 1926.501(b)(8)

  • Chesapeake Employers’ Safety Tip Sheets

Scaffolding Safety and Fall Protection (English)
Scaffolding Safety and Fall Protection (Spanish
For scaffold safety standards, visit the OSHA website:

Safety information disclaimer: This information and any noted recommendations are advisory only: Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Co. assumes no liability for identification or correction of conditions or hazards as the safety and health of employees remain the employer’s responsibility. Not all foreseeable hazards or conditions in need of correction, and not all possible controls to address them, may be listed. Use of all or part of this safety information does not relieve employers of their responsibility to comply with all current and applicable local, state and/or federal laws, regulations, and codes. While the information herein is believed to be current as of the date published, the reader should rely upon the most current standards as laws, codes, and regulations are updated frequently.

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