On February 16, 2001, a 40-year old male died from injuries sustained when he was struck by a freestanding steel frame (Frame 1) that fell, pinning him against a steel frame (Frame 2) held in position by a forklift. Each was composed of 4 12" I-Beams weighing 50#/foot and measuring 17'4" wide and 6'3" tall. Each frame section weighed about 10,000 pounds. Frame sections 1 and 2 were sub-assembled on the floor and moved into position by a forklift. Frame 1 was moved to an upright, vertical position next to a hoist's vertical support pole, and left in an unrestrained, freestanding position. Two three-inch steel channel bars were tack-welded to the base of Frame 1. The channel bars were thought to provide upright support as well as a positioning aid for Frame 2. Frame 2 was moved into position by the forklift, and the channel bars from the base of Frame 1 were positioned on the top of the I-beam base of Frame 2. The forklift was supporting the top I-beam of Frame 2, and the victim was facing the forklift and standing between the unsecured Frame 1 and the forklift supported Frame 2. The victim was directing the forklift driver to properly position Frame 2. He was also helping with minor position adjustments of Frame 1. When Frame 2 was in the proper position, the victim was going to tack-weld the channel bars from Frame 1 to Frame 2's base I-beam. During the positioning of Frame 2, the forklift driver observed Frame 1 begin to fall. The driver yelled to the victim to get out of the way. The victim could not react quickly enough, and the top I-beam of Frame 1 struck the victim, and he fell against Frame 2. Fellow workers called 911 and lifted Frame 1 from the victim. Paramedics arrived and took the victim to the hospital where he died a short time later. Recommendations: 1. Heavy objects subject to tipping should not be stored in a freestanding, unsupported position - always brace or tie off the object to support it and protect it from potential movement. 2. Employers should develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive health and safety program that includes, but is not limited to, training in hazard recognition and avoidance and job hazard analysis.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Training; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-operations; Work-performance; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Welding-industry; Welders