In February 2002, a 39-year-old construction worker was killed when he was struck by a load of cement forms that fell from an overhead crane. The man was part of a crew erecting a new building for a private college. A stationary hammerhead-type crane was being used to move 13 plywood and steel cement forms to a storage area outside the new building. The stack of forms weighed about 880 lbs (400 kg). The load was secured in a conventional fashion, with a two-leg wire rope bridle attached to two nylon slings, which were choked around the load. The load was level, and was raised without problems, however, in the middle of the swing, one sling end slipped or twisted out of the hook, and the entire load of forms fell about 30 feet (10 m) to a work area underneath. The victim was walking in this adjacent area and was struck by the falling load, which caused fatal head and neck injuries. The man who rigged the load, as well as the crane operator, were experienced workers, and did not notice anything unusual prior to or during the lift. The area from which the forms were lifted was out-of-sight from the crane operator, and the rigging man used a radio for communication. Initial investigation of the equipment (hooks, latches, slings, etc.) did not provide clues as to what caused the load to fall. Recommendations based on our investigation are as follows: 1. Communication and other workplace arrangements must be in place to prevent carrying suspended loads over workers and bystanders. 2. Employers should provide training to all workers and crane operators regarding crane safety. 3. Construction workers rigging loads for cranes should carefully check every load prior to signaling crane operators to lift the load, giving special attention to the condition of the safety latch on the hook. 4. Construction materials should be stored in locations that minimize crane traffic over work areas. 5. All workers should develop good habits of working defensively while on-the-job.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Construction; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers