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Laborer dies from crush injuries when he was struck-by a suspended overhaul ball.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
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 97AK033, 1997 Dec; :1-9
A 29-year-old male laborer was killed when a suspended 350-pound overhaul ball was severed from a cable on a mobile crane and struck his head. The victim was a sheet metal worker/welder at a remote construction site. During off-duty hours, he had acquired additional employment with a second construction company as a temporary laborer to assist in the relocation of several trailers. The mobile crane in the incident was equipped with two hoists. Each hoist was attached to a lift assembly, either a hook block (on the main hoist assemblage) or an overhaul ball (on the auxiliary hoist assemblage). After repositioning the crane to lift the next trailer, the crane operator rotated the boom and lowered the hook block so the victim could attach the rigging. Seeing the block was approximately a half-foot short of position, the operator (the witness) extended the boom to adjust the block position. During this procedure, the overhaul ball came into contact with the boom nose and the cable severed. The victim was struck on the head by the ball. After checking the victim, the operator immediately drove to the main road for help. Emergency service units were summoned to the site. The victim was transported to the medical clinic where he was pronounced dead by the attending nurse practitioner. Based on the findings of the investigation, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure all employees are capable of recognizing worksite hazards and their avoidance; 2. ensure the use of written, pre-start inspection checklists and incorporate all retrofit safety devices and aids into the checklist; 3. ensure equipment operators follow manufacturer guidelines for the safe operation of equipment; 4. ensure the completion of all periodic equipment inspections by a qualified person and communicate recommendations and findings to the equipment operators.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Equipment-operators; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-workers; Safety-programs
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-97AK033; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-007089
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division