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Welder dies from fall off rigging.

Michigan State University
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 03MI179, 2004 Nov; :1-9
On Saturday, November 22, 2003, a 44-year-old male welder fell 24 feet to a concrete floor at a metal stamping plant. He was a general welder in the plant's facility engineering department. The welder who fell, a co-worker who was an apprentice welder, and another worker were preparing the site for the installation of the top of a press, the crown, onto a large press. The crown was to be raised by a crane to a position in front of the press where it would be positioned onto a hydraulic lifting apparatus that traveled on rails located on either side of the press. The crown would then be raised by the lifting apparatus, rolled along the rails across the top of the press and set into place. Two I-beams in front of the press formed a bridge between the rails the lifting apparatus traveled along. The decedent and his co-workers were welding a steel plate to the top of the two I-beams to stabilize them to prevent them from twisting so they could support the weight of the crown as it was placed on the lifting apparatus. The decedent had tack-welded the steel plate onto the I-beam next to the platform he was standing on. He was preparing to tack-weld the far side of the plate onto the second I-beam that was closest to the press. The apprentice welder with whom he was working saw him start to climb over a guardrail onto the top of the plate to reach the far side of the steel plate, but then turned away to put some equipment away. When he next looked back in that direction, he did not see the decedent. The decedent was not wearing any type of fall protection. He had fallen from the steel plate next to the left side of the press. When the apprentice welder realized that the decedent had fallen to the press floor below, he activated the 911 Emergency Call Box to notify the company's central emergency team, the plant nurse, and the plant emergency response team. The company's central emergency ambulance and team arrived within 4 minutes of receiving the call. The city's emergency medical team transported him to the hospital where he was placed in the trauma center. He was in a coma until he died approximately one month later on December 22, 2003. 1. Management and employees must work together to develop a plant culture that will not allow actions that might result in injury or death to be tolerated. 2. Appropriate safety procedures must be followed to prevent injuries and fatalities. 3. Employers must conduct a thorough pre-work analysis of facility construction work to ensure that it is correctly identified regarding type of construction and types of hazards and that workers with appropriate training are assigned to the work. 4. Employers must ensure that those in a supervisory position are knowledgeable regarding appropriate safe work practices, so that they will be able to recognize if employees are effectively protected or exhibiting behavior that would indicate that further training or retraining was necessary.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Welders; Welding; Training; Safety-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Protective-measures; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment
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-03MI179; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division