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Pipefitter crushed by 5,000-pound shoring plate - South Carolina, September 29, 1993.

Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 94-03, 1994 Sep; :1-7
An incident in which a 32 year old male pipefitter died after a shoring plate fell on him was described. He was employed by a construction company which had been in operation for 27 years and employed 20 workers. The job involved the installation of an 8 inch ductile iron sewer pipeline at a new residential subdivision. A trench had been excavated in type-C soil that was water saturated. A trench box, 28 by 10 feet, had been installed. Six steel plates were placed against the inside of the street side wall. The first plate was lifted by a backhoe, guided into place by the victim, and then pushed down into place by the backhoe bucket in the back end of the trench box. The plate was suspended by a hook attached to cables leading to three shackles connected to an eyelet on the backhoe bucket. Other plates were then placed into the trench, each overlapping the previous one, pushed into place by the bucket. The pipefitter had guided the first plate into place and signaled the operator to push it down. As he lowered the bucket onto the plate, the bucket slipped off the plate and the hook, which was missing its safety latch, slipped out of the hole in the plate, allowing the plate to fall toward the center of the trench. The victim was crushed under the 5,000 pound shoring plate. The backhoe operator stated that the safety latch had broken off a day or so before the incident. Recommendations included ensuring that no workers work under or near a lifted load, and conducting job site surveys before starting any work to identify hazards.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-94-03; Accident-analysis; Construction-industry; Safety-research; Work-practices; Construction-workers; Excavation-equipment; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-Search
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division