Construction Worker Fatally Struck by Steel Sheet Pile Falling from a Vibratory Pile Driver, New York
New York Case Report: 15NY032
On May 29, 2015, at 12:04 p.m., a 50-year-old female employee of a construction company was struck and killed by a steel sheet pile that broke off from a vibratory pile driver at a bridge construction site. At the time of the incident, the decedent was directing traffic while a crew consisting of a foreman, a crane operator, an excavator operator, and an assistant iron worker were conducting a pile driving operation. A vibratory pile driver was used to install sheet piles at the existing bridge abutment.
Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include:
- There was only one main hoist line holding the pile driver because the crane’s auxiliary hoist was not assembled and rigged
- The sheet pile was not rigged to the crane through a safety line
- Workers were not trained on how to safely operate the vibratory pile driver
New York FACE investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:
- Ensure that piles are always secured to the crane via a safety line for as long as the piles are being held by the crane.
- Ensure that all workers are protected from being struck by the load of a crane during pile driving.
- Ensure that the hydraulic clamp bolts are inspected and evenly tightened to the appropriate torque as specified by the manufacturer.
Construction Worker Fatally Struck by Steel Sheet Pile Falling from a Vibratory Pile Driver, New York [PDF 2,948 KB]