On January 9, 2006, a 60 year-old male ironworker employed by an ornamental metal working company sustained fatal injuries when a crate of glass panes fell on him at a residential construction site. On the day of the incident, the company was contracted to install curtain walls (large double paned thermal insulated glass) at the residence. Prior to installation, the workers staged the crates containing multiple plates of glass in such a way that when the crates were opened, the plates of glass would not fall out and the top glass sheet could be easily retrieved. The workers stood the crates on their sides, tilted them to a slight angle and supported the crates with either wooden bars (legs) or another crate of similar size and weight. When crates are staged in pairs, they form an upright triangle or "A" frame with the tops of the two crates touching and supporting each other. The incident happened while the workers were staging two crates (A and B) into an "A" frame. Crate A weighed approximately 1,859 pounds (Lbs.) and Crate B weighed approximately 1,943 Lbs. At the time of the incident, the foreman was standing at the north end of the two crates and a co-worker was at the south end. The victim was at the west side of the crates facing Crate B. The foreman directed the workers to push and tilt the crates towards each other. It was witnessed by other contractors working nearby that Crate A slowly overcame the weight of Crate B. Both crates started leaning towards the victim and fell over and the victim was crushed by Crate B. The foreman called 911 to summon emergency medical services (EMS) immediately. EMS arrived at the site within minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. New York State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NY FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, glass installation or ornamental metal working companies should: 1. Ensure that a crane is used to stage large and heavy crates of glass and keep the crates attached to the crane until they are stabilized and chocked; 2. Ensure that the employees always chock and brace the tilted crates to prevent them from kicking back and collapsing; 3. Conduct a job hazard analysis during the planning phase of a glass installation project to identify potential hazards and develop and implement appropriate control measures to protect workers; and, 4. Develop written standard operating procedures (SOP) for the safe handling and staging of glass crates and provide employee training and supervision. In addition, manufacturers of "A" frame carts should research and explore the possibility of safely adapting these products for use in construction settings.
Region-2; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Training; Safety-programs; Construction-workers; Construction