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E4.1 Identification and Evaluation of Injury Circumstances Contributing to Crane-related Occupational Fatality-Moore PH, Pratt SG

Introduction: Cranes are used in a broad range of industrial settings to hoist and transport materials. Mobile cranes used in construction, mining, and transportation move between locations, often while carrying a load. Tower cranes are used at urban building construction sites where limited maneuvering room is available. Overhead traveling cranes are a necessity in heavy manufacturing, railroad and seaport operations. This study identified injury risks for workers operating or working near cranes and developed recommendations for injury prevention.

Methods: The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) was used to identify crane-related fatalities from 1992 to 1997. Results of 73 field investigations conducted by NIOSH's Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program between 1982 and 1999 were evaluated to identify circumstances which contributed to each type of event.

Results: The CFOI identified 479 occupational fatalities between 1992 and 1997 for which a crane was the primary or secondary source of injury. Injury events included contact with objects and equipment (41%), falls to lower level (13%), contact with electric current (24%), and transportation incidents (10%). Injury circumstances of the fatalities investigated through FACE were 36 power-line contacts, 11 crane tip-overs, 11 rigging failures, 9 falls from cranes or suspended work platforms, 3 caught by or struck by crane components, and 2 incidents where the crane was in transport.

Conclusion: Crane fatalities can be prevented by implementation of safe work procedures including maintaining safe clearance between cranes and overhead power lines, operating within manufacturer's recommended capacities, using load monitoring instruments, and maintaining safe clearance between workers on foot and cranes.


E4.2 Work-related Fatalities in West Virginia: A Summary of Surveillance, Investigation, and Prevention Activities - July 1996 Through December 1999-Helmkamp JC, Lundstrom WJ, Williams JM

Background: From 1990 through 1995, West Virginia experienced a work-related death (WRD) rate of 8.9 deaths per 100,000 workers - the fifth highest rate among all states and twice the national rate. As a result, the West Virginia Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (WV FACE) program was established in 1996 to identify all WRDs, define work situations at high risk for fatal injury, investigate selected causes, and formulate and disseminate prevention strategies.

Methods: WRD surveillance and investigation data are used to describe trends and rates and identify hazardous conditions, unsafe work practices, and management-leadership problems through the use of the traditional epidemiologic model and the Haddon temporal matrix. Prevention strategies are developed and disseminated to audiences.

Results: From July 1996 through December 1999, 191 persons died from traumatic work-related injuries. The WRD rate was 7.6 per 100,000 compared to 4.7 for the U.S. (1996-98). Ninety-four percent of the victims were male and all Caucasian. Mean age at death was 43 years. Leading external causes of death included motor vehicle (48), struck by object (38), machinery-related (24), fall from elevation (15), and homicide (10). WRDs occurred most often in the transportation/public utilities (37; truckers - 22), manufacturing (32; loggers - 24), mining (28), construction (26), and services (25) industry sectors. Nineteen on-site investigations were conducted (10 logging, 5 machine-related, and 4 fall from elevation); no company safety programs, inadequate training, lack of oversight were consistently noted. Summary reports were prepared for employers, cause-specific Fatal Incident Alerts written for workers, and an article published in the peer-review literature.

Conclusions: The WV FACE program has contributed to a better understanding of fatal traumatic occupational injuries within the state and the importance of coordinated efforts by employees, employers, and safety and public health professionals to reduce the frequency and societal impact of these injuries.


E4.3 Functional Limitations Leading to Fatal Work Injuries of Farmers in Wisconsin-Tierney JM, Hanrahan LP

The WI FACE Program recorded 914 traumatic occupational fatalities from October 1, 1991 through September 30, 1999. Sixty-nine in-depth investigation reports were completed, including thirty-one cases of farm fatalities. In seven cases of farm fatalities, investigators concluded that the victims had pre-existing functional limitations that contributed to the fatal injury. Pre-existing physical conditions may prevent farmers from using equipment in the way it was intended, causing the farmers to circumvent safety features and methods. Examples include not being able to step up or climb onto a tractor mounting platform, lacking leg strength to depress foot levers, and not being able to dismount the tractor seat platform due to decreased flexibility of knee joints. Case examples with risk factors are presented, with recommendations for prevention.

The Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program was designed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to assist employers in preventing occupational injuries by identifying work situations at high risk for injury, and formulating and disseminating prevention strategies to those who can intervene in the workplace. The State of Wisconsin has a cooperative agreement with NIOSH to conduct surveillance, investigation and intervention activities using the NIOSH FACE model. All traumatic occupational fatalities are reported to NIOSH. In-depth investigations are done of selected cases of machine-related incidents, youth fatalities, and fatalities in the road construction work-zone. Injury circumstances and risk factors are identified and recommendations for prevention are written and disseminated.


E4.4 The Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program: High Risk Populations-Cohen MA, Sjostrom T, Clark R

The goal of the State of Washington's NIOSH funded Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program is the reduction of work-related traumatic injuries through fatality surveillance, field investigation of targeted incidents, and development and dissemination of intervention strategies to those who can influence safety in the work place. The Washington FACE surveillance system has identified a number of worker populations with elevated risk for traumatic fatality. This study summarizes the hazards for injury for these populations. Construction workers, agricultural workers, loggers and log haulers, minority workers, and truck drivers all have high risks of death while on the job, accounting for approximately 55% of the 194 work-related fatalities in Washington State in 1998 and 1999. Construction workers account for 17%, truckers 16%, minorities 15% (10% Hispanic and 5% non-white), logging-related incidents 11%, and agricultural workers 11% . Populations such as construction workers are exposed to hazards that one would generally expect, while the hazard exposure for others, such as agricultural workers is somewhat surprising. As might be expected, falls from elevation (45%) were the leading incident type occurring in construction, and truck drivers most often die in motor vehicle collisions (84%). However, drowning accounted for 24% of the agriculture-related incidents, while 24% were motor vehicle-related, and 14% were homicides. Only 14% of the agriculture-related incidents were machinery-related and 10% were tractor rollovers. Minorities are primarily involved in motor vehicle-related incidents (24%), but 21% were victims of homicide. This population accounts for 46% of all work-related homicides. Twenty-three percent of the logging-related incidents involved being struck by falling objects, while 36% were motor vehicle-related. Only with a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding acute trauma fatalities will we be able to prevent future incidents.



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Page last updated: March 2001
Page last reviewed: March 2001
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Division of Safety Research