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Welder dies when crushed by a falling structural steel beam tipped over by a crane 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 96CA008, 1996 Oct; :1-4
A 30-year old male welder (victim) died after being crushed by a structural steel I-beam at a fabrication facility. The victim had just finished welding brackets onto the beam and a crane operator had moved it onto the edge of a number of metal saw horses. The victim was standing near the beam, to take over the crane's pendant (suspended, floor-level remote) controls for another job. The crane operator began to raise the load hook and attached chain slings so he could relinquish the controls. The hooks of the two chain slings, which were used as chokers, had not been placed in the oblong master link (connecting ring for the slings) hanging from the load hook. When the crane operator began to raise the dangling slings, one of its hooks turned toward the beam and caught it on the bottom. This caused the beam, which had been placed on the saw horses lengthwise with the "I" upright, to topple toward the victim. The beam knocked him down and he was crushed between the beam and the concrete floor. Two employees working in the same area escaped by jumping onto a stack of beams. Company training was on-the-job and was not documented. The CA/FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers should: 1. Assure that before the load line of the crane is raised, the operator moves the line to the side so it and any attached slings are clear of obstructions. 2. Make certain that crane operators or riggers place the hooks of the slings in the oblong master link before raising the load line. 3. Ensure workers always stand clear of the load until it has been properly placed and the rigging and load line are clear. 4. Assure that the areas in which lifts are made, transported and lowered are free of materials or other obstructions. 5. Ensure workers refrain from placing beams near the edge of the supporting sawhorses. 6. Implement a written, formal training program for crane operators and riggers which also provides for refresher training.
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; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Training; Welders; Welding-equipment; Welding-industry; Equipment-operators
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-96CA008; 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