Extractive Industries Inspectorate
Promoting Safety and Health in the Workplace
Truck Driver Killed in Fall
A truck driver died when his run-away truck went over
a bank and plummeted onto the quarry floor about
40 metres below. The truck was totally destroyed.
During the construction of the access road to the
stripping site of the quarry, pay hauler trucks were
used to transport excavated material to the dumpsite,
and to bring the basecourse rock up to the cut for road
surfacing. The road gradient was about 1:5.
At the time of the accident, the truck driver was
reversing a loaded truck up the road toward the cut,
but went too wide and the rear wheel hit the sidewall.
He then moved the truck forward to straighten up and
For some reason, the truck was not brought to a
complete stop and went down the road in reverse gear.
This cut off the hydraulic supply to the retarder brake
and main steering system rendering them both
inoperable. It could not be established when the
reverse gear had been selected.
The foot brake and auxiliary steering system were still
operable but, apparently, were not used. The truck was
out of control, and moving very fast in a straight line.
It went through a windrow and rolled down to the
quarry floor below.
The vehicle inspection proved that all brakes were in
good condition prior to the accident. It was not
established if the auxiliary steering system was
Employers must provide additional training for the
machine operators working on steep terrain, and
ensure that they comply with the manufacturer’s
machine operating guidelines.
All operators must follow the rule:
Bring the machine to a complete stop before
shifting from first gear to reverse gear or from
reverse to first gear.