A moving company employee was finishing loading his delivery truck at a customer’s dock equipped with a Rite Hite HD3000 SAFE-T-LIP® Dock Leveler when he got his leg caught between the dock leveler and the roll down door of his truck.
The moving company employee securing his load, exited the back of the truck, and pressed the dock leveler’s raise button for a couple seconds until the unit took over automatically raising and lowering the lip into place. While the unit was still raising and elevated to approximately 20 to 25 degrees, the employee stepped onto the dock leveler, grabbed the roll-up truck door strap, and pulled it down. The employee then placed his right foot either on the handle of the door to push it down the rest of the way, or placed it on the truck’s platform/bumper. He then placed his right hand on the locking mechanism. While doing this, he kept his left foot on the dock leveler plate at it was at its peak incline angle of approximately 30 degrees and 30 inches above the truck’s platform.
As the dock leveler lowers to approximately 20 to 25 degrees, the dock leveler lip catches the employee’s right leg or foot. The two other moving company employees ran in from outside the dock when they heard the their co-worker scream for help. The trapped employee instructed one of his co-workers to press the dock leveler’s “raise” button to try to relieve the pressure. When this was done, the dock leveler plate rose a little to approximately 25 degrees, but this was not enough for the employee to remove his leg. As the dock leveler lowers under its own weight when the button is released, the co-worker held the “emergency stop” button to keep the dock leveler from moving and causing any additional injuries. Eventually, the other moving company employee had a qualified driver pull the delivery truck forward to release the co-workers leg. The result of this incident was a broken right tibia and many lost workdays.