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Longshoreman/swingman falls from personnel platform being lowered into ship and dies 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 98CA009, 1999 Jan; :1-4
A 37-year old longshoreman/swingman (decedent) died when he fell from a personnel platform that was being lowered into a ship by a crane. The decedent fell over the platform's guardrail and dropped 15 feet onto a cargo container. The personnel platform was permanently attached to the structural steel of an electro-hydraulic device, commonly called a spreader, spreader beam, or beam. The beam is used to grasp cargo containers so they can be lifted on and off ships. One edge of the beam caught on a container as it was being lowered and when it released the beam began to swing back and forth along its length. The crane operator began lowering the platform to limit the decedent's falling distance but stopped the lowering abruptly because he did not want to crush the decedent if he fell. When he stopped lowering, the decedent fell. The decedent had a radio but never indicated to the crane operator that there was a problem. The decedent was not wearing fall protection. Reports indicated that the victim had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.19%. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure all workers working at dangerous heights are wearing appropriate fall protection equipment. 2. ensure communications between crane operators and signalmen are continuous during crane operations. 3. ensure employees do not work while under the influence of alcohol.
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; Dockworkers; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Alcoholic-beverages; Substance-abuse
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-98CA009; 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