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Two workers die when a structural steel beam collapses in Colorado.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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 92CO001, 1992 Dec; :1-3
Two iron workers were fatally injured when the tack welds on a structural steel vertical column broke. The workers were attempting to connect a cross beam to the vertical column at the time of the incident. The vertical column was tack welded to a base plate that was set in a prefabricated concrete wall. This base plate was determined to be out of level by approximately one inch; this caused the column to lean inward toward the next column to which the cross beam was to be connected. The cross beam would not fit between the two columns. Employee #1 was tied off to the vertical column and standing on the cross beam. Employee #2 was sitting on the cross beam with his both ends of his safety lanyard attached to his safety belt and the lanyard looped under the cross beam. The cross beam was supported by steel cables and was being moved by an overhead crane equipped with a controlled descent device (retractor reel). Neither employee was attached to that system. The fatally injured employees had attached a steel cable to another vertical column and were attempting to pull the upper end of the misaligned column to allow the cross beam to fit into place. The welds on the column separated and employee #1 was pulled off the cross beam by the falling column. Employee #2 attempted to grab employee #1 as he fell and was also pulled off the cross beam. Both employees fell 41 feet and landed on a lower level concrete floor. The Colorado Department of Health (CDH) investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that adequate fall protection is provided and used. 2. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program that includes an adequate fall protection policy. 3. Ensure that materials utilized meet all specifications before they are incorporated into the structure. 4. Conduct a job-site survey on a regular basis to identify potential hazards, implement appropriate control measures, and provide subsequent training to employees that specifically addresses all identified hazards.
Region-8; 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; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Training; Safety-programs; Steelworkers; Iron-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-92CO001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-808518
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division