No seat belt used in roller accident

December 29, 1997

A Washington County roads worker escaped serious injury when a 5-ton road roller he was loading onto a trailer slipped off a ramp and rolled over earlier this month, county officials said Monday.

Safety coordinator Brian Overcash said he had recommended that the worker, who suffered a scraped elbow in the Dec. 19 incident, be reprimanded because he wasn't wearing a seat belt, which is county policy.

The road crew was finishing up work on Dam No. 4 Road when the accident occurred, Overcash said.

He said the county planned to install a slip-resistant material on the ramps to prevent future accidents.

Ted Wolford, transportation and roads supervisor, said the accident was the first involving a road roller since an Aug. 21, 1995, accident that claimed the life of Keith Shives, 46. Shives was crushed under an older model road roller on U.S. 40 near Licking Creek.

AFSCME Local 2677 President Dennis Embly said Monday he hadn't spoken yet to any of the people who were at the scene.


"He didn't get hurt without his seat belt on - that should speak for itself. Had he been strapped in he could have been killed, who's to say?" he said.

It's county policy that the seat belt be worn, Overcash said. "Unfortunately we can't follow it on a case-by-case basis," he said.

- Steven T. Dennis

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