NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Maintenance mechanic dies after spreader beam falls and crushes him in California.

Public Health Institute
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 96CA004, 1996 Oct; :1-4
A 41-year-old male maintenance mechanic (the victim) died after a 2,180 pound spreader beam fell on him at work. The victim and two of his co-workers had planned to use the spreader beam in conjunction with a crane to lift a front-end loader so that the brakes could be replaced. The victim had informed his co-worker that he was going to walk over to the area of the facility where the spreader beam was located. The spreader beam was stored in a narrow alleyway, leaning unsecured against a wall. After approximately 15 minutes, a foreman went to find the victim and discovered him under the spreader beam with his back pinned against a shed. The foreman checked the victim for pulse and spontaneous respirations, could not detect either, and ran to call emergency services. There were no witnesses to the incident. The victim's co-workers stated that they thought the victim may have been trying to attach a shackle to the beam when the incident occurred. The victim had one shackle in his tool box and one was found on the ground near where the victim was located. Co-workers stated that the victim always carried two shackles in his tool box. Paramedics arrived in approximately five minutes and could not detect spontaneous respirations or a pulse. The CA/FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent similar future occurrences employers should: 1. require that heavy equipment be secured to minimize the risk of injury. 2. evaluate their work practices and ensure that safe methods are used. 3. develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program which includes, but is not limited to, training employees in hazards recognition and avoidance, and safe work practices, including task-specific procedures.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Maintenance-workers
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-96CA004; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division