That Could Never Happen!

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I can't begin to tell you how many times we hear about the "this can never happen" . . . happens. Take this recent news story about a bulldozer operator whom evidently got ran over by the equipment he himself was operating:

Deputies: Man, 61, killed in industrial accident
Sources: Bulldozer runs over operator contracted with mining company
By Francesca Amiker - Reporter News 4 Jax (

April 11, 2016

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - A Williston, Florida, man was killed Monday afternoon in an industrial accident in western Clay County, authorities said.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as James Henderson, 61, who worked as a heavy machine operator for Brown and Root for 18 years, deputies said.

Henderson was being contracted by Chemours Mining, which owns the property on County Road 218 near State Road 301, where he died.

He was trapped in the track of a machine and killed about 4 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

Sources told News4Jax the machine that ran over and killed Henderson was a bulldozer.

"It's not clear how this incident occurred," Chemours spokeswoman Janet Smith said. "No one observed it happening. If something is discovered after the fact, it would, of course, launch an investigation to better understand how it came about."

Smith said such a tragedy has never occurred at the site before.

"This is something that is shocking to us and is not something we've experienced before at this site and something we'd never expect to ever happen," Smith said.

Federal workplace authorities who handle mining accidents will be looking into the incident.

Granted it would certainly be unusual for the only person in the area who is operating a bulldozer to get run over by it themselves, but as this shows, it can occur. There are other stories through the news about forklift operators getting struck or hit by their own vehicles. Garbage truck operators, tow truck operators, the list goes on.

So how do we prevent this from occurring? First off; each and every time you leave the cockpit of the powered vehicle or truck you are operating do 3 things:

  1. Set the parking brake
  2. Turn off the ignition
  3. Take the key with you.

Those seem like pretty simple things to do, but let's face facts . . . for a quick task we often forget to do them. "I'll just be off and back on in a second". Well the fact remains if you do those three things, nothing like the above incident in the newscast is likely to happen to you.

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