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Two electricians die when a bolt bin falls 8 floors at construction site.

Minnesota Department of Health
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 98MN063, 1999 Jun; :1-10
On the day of the incident, a 46-year-old worker and a 49-year-old worker (victims) died of injuries sustained when a large bolt bin fell at a commercial construction site. The victims worked as electricians for an electrical company that was subcontracted to complete the electrical work on an office tower complex that was under construction. The two victims were working on the sixth floor of a planned 30 story tower when they were struck by an ironworkers' bolt bin that fell from the eighth floor of the building. The bin was resting directly on steel decking, rather than having its weight distributed over two structural beams which was the usual procedure. Shortly before the incident occurred, a construction crane was used to assist ironworkers who were setting a structural column for the ninth and tenth floors. The column had been previously raised from ground level and placed in a horizontal position on the eighth floor decking. The lower end of the column was near a seam in the decking rather than in a central portion of the decking that provided a safer location for heavy materials. During the lifting process, the lower end of the column slipped off pieces of wood that had been placed on the steel decking to prevent it from slipping. The column punctured the eighth floor decking and dropped approximately seven feet. The column swung from the crane's cables and bent a structural beam that supported the ends of the decking on which the bolt bin was sitting. The ends of the decking sheets fell from the beam as a result of the beam being bent. The bolt bin and its contents fell through the eighth floor decking and continued to slam through each of the lower floors until it reached the first floor. The two victims who were working directly beneath the falling bin were apparently struck by it and also fell to the first floor. Emergency medical personnel were immediately called and pronounced the victims dead at the scene. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. employers should ensure that heavy items placed on preliminary flooring are placed over structural beams that can adequately support the weight of the items; 2. employers should ensure that heavy construction materials, whenever possible, are only raised to elevations as they are needed; and 3. employers should ensure that construction materials "such as columns" are placed in the safest locations available if they cannot be stored on the ground.
Region-5; 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; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Electrical-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-98MN063; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division