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A Peoria area man was killed recently while digging a trench to uncover a water line. The operator of the back hoe was getting out of the machine when his clothing snagged the controls, causing the bucket to swing out of control.

The backhoe struck the laborer, causing fatal injuries.

This unfortunate accident places the spotlight on the equipment used on job sites.

One of the factors that should be investigated with regard to this accident is whether the backhoe was equipped with a “dead man’s switch” which would cut the power to the backhoe when the operator was not in his seat. This safety device is intended to prevent out-of-control movements of machinery, and likely would have prevented this fatality.

Also, if the operator and the deceased laborer were not co-employees, the operator’s employer is facing significant civil liability for this accident.

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