jueves, 21 de mayo de 2015


In the past week, more precisely on Saturday May 16 2015 in the morning, during a civil work movement in the city of Sabanagrande (Atlántico, Colombia, South America) in the hydraulic pipe arrangement at Cañafistola creek, a fatal accident occurred as shown in the photographs reference. According to the journalistic report version of the accident is exposed as follows:

"A young man identified as Jose Ariel Castro Puertas died in an accident when fixing a loader with was in operation in channeling Cañafistola creek.
Witnesses report that he was working when a tire was damaged, so he went to a Workshop located on the eastern route in the same municipality.
The witnesses added that being there, the young man cocked his head to observe the work to be performed on the repair workshop. At that time, he tripped a lever arm which caused the shovel down and hit him on the head causing his immediate death.
José Ariel Castro Puertas was born in the municipality of Repelón.

"Version of the newspaper El Heraldo from Barranquilla Colombia” you can find at this link http://m.elheraldo.co/judicial/muere-joven-en-accidente-laboral-en-sabanagrande-195629#sthash.0xkJs7RQ.dpuf

Photo 1. Accident situation at one glance.

According to the newspaper version, this is a clear allusion to a recurrent problem with this type of loaders which operate the joystick down bucket arm suddenly, even induced by gravity force. This is not the only case that has occurred either in Colombia or the in world. There are many other cases that have been occurred in the last years due to these conditions.

Clearly it defines that the accident was a lucky factor without any premeditation of act in any aspect. Indeed the operator tends to review the work that the helper do at the workshop, is half out of his seat, stretching his trunk outside the cab and tripping sadly the left joystick forward with the knee same side, activating unconsciously the sudden descent of the bucket, which by its specific weight and possible deliberate absence of control, caused the tragedy. Openly occurred a separation of the head from the body of the operator, scissors closing imprisoned and closed skin blood flow is formed. Picture 1 is not an assembly by the absence of blood. The cut was fine and chirurgical by the power and speed of action.

It is clear that a situation of this aspect generates teachings, which despite all this tragedy and mourning in the depths of our hearts by the death of José Ariel, are worthy for learning to other operators of such type of equipment or similar. Those are:

1. Never do a repair of any style to a loader with the bucket up and operating.
2. Turn off the loader, put the parking security breake and get off of it.
3. Never, for any reason, inspect the equipment or parts thereof from the cab. Always from outside...
4. The lack of training of these teams, are shown as one of the biggest causes of deaths of loader operators by the explanations mentioned above.
5. The methodical training must be rigorous and comprehensive in style and topic of the type of job. What to do when casual and short-term arrangements are made to the equipment? Never, ever the operator must remain in the machine with the machine turned on and operating. This is one of the operating conditions that are neglected by the operator by pure physical "laziness".
6. discipline in the operation of the equipment is a fact of individual character and is based on awareness of each operator. The operator must inform the process and should be required to the helper to down and turn off the loader. Casual repairs must be executed by trained personnel in these kinds of events. Tire dealers pathways are not unfortunately precise.

Photo 2. In the place of the accident after the body recovery.

Under these circumstances, it becomes necessary to implement a safety plan and retraining of operators with these methodical orientations. Not just a simple talk or do a handbook reading or theoretical analysis of this or any other cases. It is essential to do a simulation de facto How the accident happened and to how assess in a short-term secondary failures that led to the accident.

I recommend voiding the contract immediately to any operator who is caught violating the regime of operational procedure in situations of this kind; the helper is also included.

We will recommend a review of the accident in English to the Bobcat factory since long time, we have suggested to do an operational incompatibility by the location of the control levers and the raising of the bucket. It is obvious that much of the malice of this situation leads the operator and the supervisor of the working group, given that he had to know he would do the operator and provide working conditions. But given the number of accidents this style equipment have occurred, it has asked the existence of an alarm system and locking  the drop of the bucket when lifting arm is up. We have never been able to understand why this option is not supplied by the Loader’s company.

Photo 3. José Ariel Castro Puertas ID photo

A tribute to the operator José Ariel Castro Puertas  . A profound feelings by his death so we must move on and learn from these kind of experiences in sadly.

The operation of equipment of any kind, as demonstrated in this case  is an activity of extreme responsibility. The operator , assistant and supervisor in charge of the operation must be known the details and specifications of the characteristics of the workspace, accessory movements , secondary operating situations , primary performance issues and other features. No event may be adrift ... none at all. Teamwork is a continuous act of solidarity where all communication must exercise and concern for each other.


Víctor Marenco B.
Tech. Manager
Dpto. Técnico
Centro Empresarial Las Américas
Calle 77B No. 59 – 141 Of 11 01
Tel. :+57(5) 368 9222 ext. 153
Cel. 310 429 16 00
Barranquilla, Colombia

Descripción: cid:image001.png@01CE6B3B.B0416000

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