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9-17-2014

FedEx worker crushed
by his own truck

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

A FedEx worker sustained fatal injuries Friday when he was pinned between his rolling vehicle and the house where he was making a delivery in the Northland.

The worker has been identified as 52-year-old Charles L. Sims of Independence.

According to the Platte County Sheriff's Office, the FedEx driver removed a package from the work truck to make a delivery in the 18000 block of Amber Court, located just west of the Interstate 435 and Route 45 intersection.

After the driver had exited his vehicle, the truck rolled and pinned Sims up against the house.

Sims was taken to an area hospital, but died a short time later from the injuries he sustained in the accident.

The accident occurred just after 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12.

A preliminary investigation conducted by the Platte County Sheriff's Office reveals that the braking system of the FedEx truck may have failed.

The brake defect may have been a contributing factor in the fatal accident, said Captain Erik Holland with the sheriff’s department.

FedEx released a formal statement Tuesday about the incident.

“First and foremost, our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to the friends and family of the driver in Friday's accident. We are cooperating fully with authorities but have no further information at this time. As the investigation is ongoing, we must defer to local authorities for details of this unfortunate accident.”

Barbara Theriot, region 7 area director of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said OSHA will be conducting an investigation into this accident.

“We will be collecting evidence, interviewing employees, and reviewing relevant documents. If we find there has been a violation of any OSHA standard, we will issue citations or penalties.”

Theriot said 'struck by hazards' is one of the leading causes of job related fatalities.

“We have four states in our region. Those states are Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. So far this year we have had 42 fatalities. Fifteen of those were struck by hazards. Struck by hazards amount to 36 percent of all job-related fatalities in the region,” said Theriot.

Theriot calls many of these ‘stuck by hazard’ accidents “senseless.”

“If employers train their employees to be constantly aware of their environment then this type of injury is preventable,” said Theriot.

On a wider scale, Theriot said nationwide each and every day 12 fatalities occur while workers are on the job.

Theriot encourages anyone with concerns or questions about job safety to contact a duty officer at OSHA anytime at (816) 483-9531.

Employers can also contact OSHA with questions regarding the safest ways to complete a job. Additional information can also be viewed online at www.OSHA.gov where employees can search companies, view OSHA standards, and learn about special emphasis programs.