Why Did the Dump Truck Hit the Bicyclist?

Published on April 4, 2011 in Best Practices, News Worthy | No Comments

On February 19, 2011, Michael Montgomery was riding his bicycle near his home when he was hit by a dump truck. Miraculously, a medical doctor was passing by and stopped to assist. Seeing that Michael was not breathing and unable to find a pulse, she performed CPR for several minutes and was able to keep Michael alive until the ambulance arrived. Tragically, accidents like this happen all too often. Following the article below, we look at some expert opinions on why accidents occur and offer some solutions that organizations can implement to help prevent accidents from happening.


Bicyclist hit by dump truck

FRANKLIN — A Brentwood bicyclist has filed a lawsuit against a Franklin construction company and its truck driver in the wake of a near-fatal February collision.

Michael Montgomery, 58, recently filed a lawsuit in Williamson County Circuit Court naming Franklin-based Civil Constructors Inc. driver Curtis Wayne Tipton and Citicapital Commercial Leasing Corp. as defendants.

Montgomery’s suit alleges Tipton “negligently and recklessly” hit him with the dump truck on Feb. 19 while Montgomery was traveling westbound on the shoulder of Highway 96 near Old Hillsboro Road.

The suit does not specify what compensation Montgomery is seeking.

A Tennessee Highway Patrol report on the accident says witnesses recounted how the dump truck veered onto the shoulder of the road before striking Montgomery. Tipton, who lists Bon Aqua as his residence, told police he did not see Montgomery “until he was flipping over.”

Montgomery was revived by motorists who said he did not have a pulse and was not breathing. He underwent emergency surgery to repair a broken pelvis and spinal fractures and to stop internal bleeding.

Montgomery had more surgery last week at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“Fortunately, he’s not paralyzed,” said Jeff Roberts, Montgomery’s attorney. “He’s got a long road ahead of him.”

THP officers did not charge Tipton with any wrongdoing in the incident, even though state law requires motorists to give cyclists 3 feet of space when passing or approaching.

“Based on the THP’s investigation of this specific case, no charges will be filed in this specific case,” said Dalya J. Qualls, THP spokeswoman.

The THP said there was no presence of drugs or alcohol involved in the accident.

An official at Civil Constructors had no comment about the pending lawsuit.
          Contact Kevin Walters at 615-771-5472 or kewalters@tennessean.com.

What Do The Experts Say About Accidents And Prevention?

Workplace Safety
A Guide for Small and Midsized Companies
by Dan Hopwood and Steve Thompson
How to Prevent Workplace Accidents
Excerpts From Key Note Speech
The Joseph M. Juran Center
The Summit 2002 Conference
June 25, 2002
Seven critical aspects of your current safety program:

  • 1. Check your safety policy statement, including assignment of job responsibility. Do you have a policy? Who is your safety-point person?

  • 2. Review your process for locating and ameliorating safety issues.

  • 3. Do you have rules or guidelines for specific hazards? Are the instructions for the grinder taped to the wall next to the machine?

  • 4. How strong are your safety communication materials – newsletters, company wide e-mails, posters (“We have gone 321 days without a lost-time incident!”) and so on?

  • 5. How good are your methods for improving safety, such as including safety goals in performance reviews, reward programs and disciplinary policies?

  • 6. Check your training programs. Make sure your workers know how to operate that meat slicer.

  • 7. Monitor your record-keeping process, including incident reports.

A proper safety program has a few key ingredients:

  • It’s written. It is a real document that managers and employees can find and read“in the right language.”

  • Set goals and objectives. Goals are where you want to end up; objectives are how you get there. For instance, “We will reduce our injury rate by 25% in 2008 relative to our 2007 injury rate” is a goal. Objectives supporting that goal might include, “We will remedy safety issues that pose a threat of bodily harm within eight hours of their discovery” or “We will perform weekly safety inspections and, if hazards are found, will begin remedial processes within three calendar days.” Objectives should be measurable and specific. When the goals and objectives are written, communicate them to your employees.

  • Make safety a part of your corporate culture. All employees should understand the safety program and how it relates to their jobs; including safety in performance reviews, by showing that managers care about the safety of employees and by conveying the value of safety to all employees.

  • Your managers must commit to safety in word and deed. e.g., all wear eye and ear protection in a certain area, take corrective action, discuss safety at group meetings, reply to employees’ safety concerns, know the safety program cold, and respond promptly to injuries or incidents. If someone violates safety policies, managers should react immediately (with discipline, if necessary).

  • Involve employees in your safety program. Employees can increase their own safety, let them help you inspect work areas, investigate problems and train others in safety procedures, they will be more likely to “buy in” to your safety program.

  • Form a safety committee staffed with employees, rather than just managers. Reward employees who do the right things, such as bringing hazards to your attention

  • Recognize and resolve hazards. Try using the “Job Hazard Analysis” (JHA) method. Watch employees at work, then list all the tasks each one does in his or her job. Show the list to the employees and have them revise it, if necessary. For each task, list all the hazards involved – actual or possible. Once you’ve listed the hazards, eliminate or abate them. This can involve “engineering controls” (disposal bins, finger guards, ventilation systems), “work practices” (putting lids on solvents) or “personal protective equipment” (respirators, safety glasses).

  • Train and educate your people. Training provides skills; education provides knowledge. Show them how to do it and have them practice. Training and education should be specific to the job the employee is doing. If possible, use engaging, live instruction or, at least, a good multimedia presentation. No employee should do a job without proper safety training for that position. When employees change jobs, give them updated, relevant new training.

  • Keep accurate records. OSHA requires many businesses to maintain records of injuries and illnesses (Logged on OSHA Form 300).

  • Monitor exposure to toxic and hazardous substances

  • Record of safety training

  • Minutes of safety committee meetings

  • Reports from physical exams.

    Accidents occur for many reasons. Understanding why an accident happens is the first step in prevention. Unsafe acts cause four times as many accidents and injuries as unsafe conditions. This list will cover seven behaviors that can cause workplace accidents.

    1. Over Confidence:

    • Having confidence is a good thing but being over confident can be dangerous. Thinking “it can never happen to me” is an attitude that can lead to improper procedures or methods used while working.

    2. Ignoring Safety Procedures:

    • Failing to observe safety procedures can endanger all workers. Rules and procedures are in place for a reason and it’s important for them to be followed. Having a casual attitude about safety rules leads to danger.

    3. Shortcuts:

    • As we try to be more efficient we tend to take shortcuts that can lead to unsafe conditions and increased chances for injuries. Will implementing a time-saving idea compromise safety? Is it worth it?

    4. Not having complete instructions when starting a task:

    • Many times a worker will be shy or intimidated about asking for better instructions and will just try to “wing it” instead of knowing exactly how to do things correctly. New employee training is a must to prevent accidents. Don’t just assume that everyone knows how to do his or her job correctly.

    5. Poor Housekeeping:

    • A well maintained work area sets a standard for all. Poor housekeeping creates all types of hazards and sets the stage for accidents. Good housekeeping encourages pride and a safe environment.

    6. Mental Distractions:

    • Doing a task safely requires mental attention. Things that distract a person from work creates a hazard and can pull focus away from tasks at hand. It’s important to stay focused and leave problems at home. Even casual conversations can be distracting.

    7. Pre-Planning:

    • Not thinking through a process to complete a task can be a hazard. Being hasty and just starting on a job without giving a thought to what how to go about it can be asking for problems. Remember the saying, “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.

  • Leadership is the issue and everything else falls in behind it. With leadership, everything else is possible and without it, nothing is possible.

  • In all systems that I’ve had anything to do with – public, private, non-profits – there are [three] elements that are common in all cases without regard to geography, language, ethnicity or anything else, and it’s about people.

  • Those three things are these:

    • Every human being wants to be treated with dignity and respect every day.

    • People want to make a contribution to what they do in their lives in order to give meaning to their lives.

    • Everyone would like for someone else to notice that they did it [that they made that contribution].

    • When those three levels are present, people have the potential of contributing in a way that is structured and organized and disciplined and fulfilling and they will reward the leadership by bringing things together in a way that will defy imagination.

    • It’s very difficult in most organizations to find any proof that those three elements are in fact present. It’s just a sentiment or a popular thing to say.

    • This is now moving toward the issue of measurement and deployment and creating real-world actuality, but you’ve got to find a way to give those ideas a real moment in the organization you would lead.

    • My favorite way to do that is to focus on the issue of human safety.

    • When I went to Alcoa, I needed to connect with the people without saying the trilogy to them, but I needed to convince them that they mattered to me more than anything and that they should matter to each other more than anything.

    • So I said the first day I was there, no one who works for Alcoa should ever be hurt at work.

    • The world is so full of cynicism and disbelief about really caring about each other that the first response was predictable. The senior people came to explain to me that we were already in the top one third of all companies in the world in our safety performance as measured by the absence of lost workday cases. At that time the lost workday average work rate was five cases per 100 employees per year. The 1987 number at Alcoa was 1.87, so they were very proud of themselves.

    • They didn’t say it to my face, but the hallway conversation was, “When the next tough economic time comes, he’ll shut up about this. He doesn’t know anything about making aluminum; how can he be here telling us what we’re going to do about safety?” Never to my face, but that background like a drumbeat.

    • We began building systems to support the idea that every human being counted. Real-time safety information systems so that 24 hours within any incident including near misses, it’s put into the company-wide system to which 140,000 people have access, so that you can see what happened or might have happened and a diagnostic of the causes or probable causes. This was disseminated to every individual in the organization so we don’t have to learn the same lesson over and over and over again.

    • The most important consequence was that every year from 1987 until 2000 when I left Alcoa, the lost workday rate kept going down and down. Not because we managed the numbers, but because we more nearly created an organization where people believed in the trilogy of important ideas. When I left, the lost workday rate was 0.15 I think, which was better than Dupont.

    • I tell you today is even better and it goes to this point of leadership continuity for things quality and every other thing that matters. I think it’s true that the loss-work rate at Alcoa today is 0.11.

    • We need to stop thinking about classrooms. The education community has still not caught up to the fact that people learn one at a time so we create an average offering and those that get it –do, and those that don’t get it are thought of as slow or something. In Pittsburgh, and this is generally true in the U.S. society, 20 percent of ten year-olds can’t read and write and compute. So we have a lot to do in these ideas. Dr. Juran’s ideas and ideas about systems thinking, deliberate measurement, deliberate establishment of hard to do goals is the way we can actually get there.

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How Can TeamReadiness Help You Prevent Accidents?

  • 1. We document your safety plans, procedures, policies, and training courses.

  • 2. Our documentation is highly visual, easy-to-use and easy-to-understand.

  • 3. TRM On Demand™ provides easy and secure online access to all your documentation, training, records, and reports.

  • 4. TRM On Demand™ enables your team members to easily create reports of incident information and prevention.

  • 5. Easily create online tests and course completion certificates that reinforce learning and build esprit de corps.

  • 6. Easily communicate and collaborate with your team members to optimize plans and learning.

  • 7. Gets “team members involved that promotes “buy-in.”

  • 8. Breaks learning down into small, quick, easily understood videos or other formats that can be accessed at anytime.

Let TeamReadiness help. We can assist with the entire process to quickly and cost effectively take the steps necessary to prevent accidents and achieve team readiness!


TeamReadiness® can help!
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