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Overhead door mechanic dies after falling 16 feet from a ladder.

New Jersey Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92NJ008, 1992 Aug; :1-3
On April 1, 1992, a 30 year old male overhead door mechanic was critically injured while repairing an overhead door in an automotive service garage. The incident occurred while the victim was working on a ladder to service the torsion spring assembly that counterbalanced the weight of the door. As he was working on the bolts that attached the center plate of the assembly to the wall, the plate detached and spun explosively under the tension of the torsion springs. The center plate struck the victim in the head, knocking him from the ladder and causing him to fall 16 feet to the floor. The victim died of his injuries three days later. NJDOH FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar incidents in the future, employers should follow these safety guidelines: 1. Insure that the mechanical energy of spring loaded mechanisms is safely discharged before servicing the device. 2. Require the use of hand tools for tightening or loosening bolts in critical applications. In addition, manufacturers of torsion spring assembly doors should: 3. Design an improved method for securing the center plate of the torsion spring mechanism to the wall.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Region-2; Ladders; Mechanics; Tools; Service-industries
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-92NJ008; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division