Hook Smashes Through Window, Strikes Worker

An operator sustained head and facial injuries while he was attempting to transfer a roll-off waste container from a flat bed truck onto the bed of his roll-off truck.

A winch cable was mounted on the roll-off truck, but it was not long enough to reach the container. To pull the container, the operator used a grab chain with a small eight millimetres (5⁄16-inch) cast hook. He hooked the grab chain between the container and the 7 1⁄2-tonne-rated hook on the end of the winch cable. Once the container was positioned at the edge of the flatbed, the operator tried to pull the container onto the roll-off truck.

Because the truck's bed was not tilted enough to allow the container to properly roll onto it, the container became stuck against the backend of the roll-off truck bed. The winch continued to pull, but the container did not move, causing the small hook on the grab chain to break. The 7 1⁄2-tonne-rated hook and winch cable whipped back toward the rear window of the cab, where the operator was facing backward to observe the operation. The hook went through the rear window, striking the operator in the forehead.

Recommended Preventive Action

  • Never use chain, rope or any other connecting device between the winch cable and the container.
  • The winch cable hook must have a safety latch so that the hook cannot inadvertently become unhooked.
  • The bed of the roll-off truck must be tilted as per manufacturer’s instructions, so the operation can be accomplished safely.
  • The rear window of the roll-off truck should be provided with adequate protection such as a screen, shield, grill, deflector or guard to protect the operator from the hazard of flying or intruding objects.

Reprinted April 2015

1 800 999-9775