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Traffic flagger injured by dump truck at construction site

On April 25, a 43-year-old woman from Coplay, Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia, was injured by a dump truck while she was working as a traffic flagger at a construction site. Some early reports indicated that she had been injured by a passing driver. This, according to information from the state police, was not the case.

Considered a workplace accident, the incident has been under investigation by an agent with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since it occurred.

The woman was working at a site operated by UGI Corporation. She was employed by Pennsylvania-based Flagger Force. The incident occurred while she had her back turned to a dump truck in reverse. That truck was operated by a 51-year-old man, who did not realize he had collided with the woman until someone informed him.

Authorities report that he was backing the truck onto a state highway when the woman's right leg became caught in the dual wheels of the truck on the rear passenger side. Witnesses told him what had occurred, but he did not stop backing up until he was informed. Police did not discuss the possibility of charges against the man. No indication of his employer was made.

Investigators are trying to determine how the woman was unaware of the truck. According to authorities, the backup alarm on the dump truck was working at the time of the crash.

After the incident, the woman was flown to a hospital, where she was treated for her injuries.

OSHA has been given six months to investigate the incident. This will allow the agency to determine if any regulations were violated. If her employer is found to be negligent in allowing the accident to happen, it could face fines or a lawsuit.

Source: The Express-Times, "East Allen Township accident at Route 512 construction zone investigated by OSHA," Sarah M. Wojcik, May 16, 2012

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Gregory R. Gifford
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