Compactor Rollover Hazard
Between 2000 and 2006, OSHA investigated over 50 rollover incidents that involved a variety of roller/compactor makes and models. Of the rollover accidents investigated: 5 involved roller/compactors with rollover protective structures (ROPS) where operators used the seatbelts provided. None of these accidents resulted in a fatality.
19 involved roller/compactors with ROPS, but seatbelts were not used. In some cases, seatbelts were not provided. In other cases, the seatbelts provided were not used by the operators. Fourteen of these accidents resulted in fatalities. In a number of these cases, the operator was either ejected or jumped from the equipment, and was pinned under or crushed by the ROPS.
The OSHA Englewood Area Office investigated two fatal accidents in 2005 in southern Colorado involving the rollover of pneumatic rubber-tired roller/compactors. The machines involved in these fatal accidents were produced by different manufacturers, but they were very similar in nature. Each machine had pneumatic rubber tires and a low center of gravity. These machines are often used in the compacting process during road construction and paving operations.
In both cases, OSHA concluded that if the machine had been equipped with a ROPS system, and if the operator had been wearing a seatbelt, the likelihood of the operator’s survival would have increased significantly.