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Friday, 21 April 2017
OVER-THE-ROAD TRUCK DRIVER KILLED IN RTG ACCIDENT [HOUSTON, TX – 20 APRIL 2017]
Blueoceana Company has learned that an as-yet unidentified over-the-road truck driver was killed this afternoon, when struck and run over by a rubber tired gantry crane at the Barbours Cut Marine Terminal in Houston Texas.
The Barbours Cut Terminal is a multi-user facility, owned and administered by the Houston Port Authority (HPA). Several stevedoring firms operate at the large intermodal facility, and while we understand that the accident at issue occurred at the terminal’s Container Block 5H (see map below) we do not know which firm was operating within that block at the time.
Sources at Houston indicate that the victim had exited his road tractor and had been within the container stacks (likely looking for a specific container). Then, upon exiting the stacks, emerged onto the RTG’s blind side runway pad whereupon he was struck and then run over by the crane’s very large wheels. His injuries were massive; he died on the spot.
Several years ago, we know that the HPA had issued a detailed policy document directly aimed at the population of over-the-road trucking companies that call at the Barbours Cut facility (we provide a link to that policy document below), and recall that specific requirements are in place that recognize the proximate hazard and provide direction to account for it. The document, however, requires the individual trucking companies to educate and instruct their operators relative to the policy document’s contents and the importance of adhering to those contents. Whether or not those requisites are effectively discharged, however, remains a matter of some conjecture. Moreover, if they are being discharged questions will exist as to how individual driver compliance can be brought into line.
The general nature of this particular intermodal relationship, is such that speed and quick turn times are corollaries to a successful truckman’s experience.