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Thread: Locator Killed

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Locator Killed

    The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA, is investigating the death of a Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District employee who was struck and killed by a commercial truck Tuesday in Beaumont.

    "He was marking the location of a water line when he was struck by a flatbed truck," Patricia Ortiz, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA based in San Francisco, said Wednesday in a phone interview.

    Ortiz said she was reading from a preliminary report.

    A county coroner's report said Ricardo Flores, 24, of Beaumont, was a water district employee who was marking the street when he was struck and fatally injured by a truck on Veile Avenue at 2:44 p.m. Tuesday.

    The state agency was notified at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, Ortiz said. A Cal/OSHA investigator visited the accident site to gather information, Ortiz said.

    The agency has up to six months to finish its investigation, though similar Cal/OSHA investigations typically take three to four months to complete, Ortiz said.

    "Cal/OSHA inspectors work to protect and govern the safety and health of workers in California," Ortiz said later in an email. "The investigation is to make sure Labor Codes are not violated. Safety programs are reviewed and inspectors check to see if standards are followed. Employers are cited with monetary penalties if violations are discovered."

    Asked Wednesday morning about whether Cal/OSHA was investigating, Anthony Lara, interim general manager for the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District, said he was preparing a statement.

    "It is with deep regret and sadness that I report that on Tuesday afternoon, June 28, 2011, Ricardo Flores (Ricky), age 24, an employee of the Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District was fatally injured when struck by a passing vehicle while working on Viele Street, south of Sixth Street in Beaumont," Lara said in his statement.

    "This tragic event is currently under investigation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ricky's family and friends. Ricky worked at the District and was part of our family for the past seven years, he will be missed."

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    So very very sad. We all know how easy it could happen to any one of us.

    I've been struck my mirrors on cars a few times but never actually hit.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    I'm with Goldenboy. I had a close call a couple of weeks ago. It brought my alert level back up to where it should be.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    I've had many close calls, and I predicted to my supervisor that something like this was going to happen. Here in Georgia they passed a law increasing the fines for people caught speeding in work zones. However, I very rarely see it enforced. Case in point... I have one project that is 3 miles long, one of the projects where I had a brush with a mirror on a van. They speed through there doing 60 miles per hour in a 35 zone.... and I have yet to see one person pulled over... in fact the cops do that same speed through there... all of us take our lives in our own hands every day to do this job of utility protection... it sickens me how little appreciation and respect is given to us.. not only from contractors and home owners... but the clients and in most companies... the people we work for.
    I'm saddened by this and I will keep ricky and his family in my thoughts and prayers.

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    From the picture, it looks like the locator may have been working in the shadow of large bridges on a sunny day, making him even harder to see. It may have had little or nothing to do with the incident which is still under investigation but the optical challenges caused by shadows may also be worth mentioning during a tailgate meeting.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails locator-killed..jpg  

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    This is the saddest thing I have read in quite a while. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and to all of our fellow locators. This could indeed happen to any of us. I really think it is high time that our respective companies/ employers provide those of us who have to work in traffic some sort of strobe/flashing light helmet, vest of what have you. There are more distracted drivers, and more distractions, than ever before. And we need all the protection we can muster. In the meantime, take your time marking in traffic areas. Save these for early morning, or whatever time the traffic is lightest. As stated, be aware of how the sun plays into the traffic sight lines. In my area, I do much of these types of tickets between 1000 and 1100. The morning rush is over, and the sun is almost directly overhead. Anything you can do to maximize safety pays.

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    Member rockiesgirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    Every locators nightmare come true. My thoughts and prayers go out to this locators family. This is why I do my heavy traffic locating at 6 in the morning, rarely that many cars out then.
    One time I actually had an idiot run my cones over on purpose and laughing and looking directly at me the whole time. Scared the you know what out of me. Drivers are on the road for 1 purpose. To get somewhere, anything in the way is an inconvenience and they have the right of way no matter what. I keep this in mind and don't trust anyone in a moving vehicle. I have seen to many drivers on cell phones, radios etc.
    Work smarter not harder!!!

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    I work with a surveyor who was on the shoulder of the road, Nearest lane to the shoulder was closed, with signs and cones. Lady still ignores the thumping of the cones going under her car and proceeds to hit Mike. Mike was in a coma a bit and the chick wasn't insured and yadda yadda. He still works, but is limited to the ammount of field work he can do.

    I guess my point was.... Don't get lulled into a false sense of security. Do your part to stay safe, but don't expect others to follow accordingly.

    My prayers go with the victim and his family.....I couldn't imagine what they are dealing with.

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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    I see many contractors who work in the road have the benefit of full, professional traffic control/protection. They have companies whose entire job is to set up barrels and signs and barricades. I see many locators have a few cones, a pickup truck with the hazards on and a flashing yellow light. It's not surprising that a locator is killed or severely injured by an auto strike every year. It's a dangerous job made more dangerous by the fact that companies can't afford to properly close lanes for the work their technicians do. Every time a locator dodges traffic to paint a few stripes in the road without that lane being properly shut down and controlled, that company is putting the locator's life in peril. No amount of Superman safety rhetoric will protect a man standing in the road.

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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by lmnop View Post
    I see many contractors who work in the road have the benefit of full, professional traffic control/protection. They have companies whose entire job is to set up barrels and signs and barricades. I see many locators have a few cones, a pickup truck with the hazards on and a flashing yellow light. It's not surprising that a locator is killed or severely injured by an auto strike every year. It's a dangerous job made more dangerous by the fact that companies can't afford to properly close lanes for the work their technicians do. Every time a locator dodges traffic to paint a few stripes in the road without that lane being properly shut down and controlled, that company is putting the locator's life in peril. No amount of Superman safety rhetoric will protect a man standing in the road.

    LOL!! ya my POS truck can't even run the flashers or charge a computer when its off!!! I have no beacon!!!!! I have mentioned it to supervisor!!!! I have not had time on the clock to get the oil changed in it since last year this time. Nor will i take it in on my own time. Gotta locate in the road ...... Your on your own....... Gotta close a lane for the duct run...... 4 cones should do it.. Can you say USIC!!!!!!!! Yup Finest locating company around ..... Nope just the only one here after they buy the competition!!!!!! Im so sick of being trapped in this line of work at this company with little to no other jobs. I might just do a deer in head lights one day and enjoy it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member FailedSafetyAudit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Locator Killed

    Utility locating is inherently unsafe. Always will be. I love it when these companies preach safety in a world where the only thing keeping you actually safe is an independent mind. Thinking for yourself is the only way to survive in this industry.

    Watch yourself. Watch your back. Keep off "The Man's" radar.

    And always wear your reflective vest. If nothing else, it reduces your liability.
    TRUST no one !!!
    QUESTION everything !!!
    Find the TRUTH for yourself !!!
    Sound a bit paranoid ???
    That's what this business is. - Don Lyng

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