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Millwright dies when struck by uncontrolled, flailing crane cable.

Michigan State University
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 04MI074, 2006 Oct; :1-5
On Tuesday, June 22, 2004, at approximately 1:10 p.m., a 62-year-old millwright was fatally injured when the overhead crane he was attempting to troubleshoot malfunctioned during a lift. The crane had been used to lift a draw die weighing 42.5 tons to a height of between 15 and 25 feet above the plant floor. After the initial lift, the die setter found he was unable to raise or lower the load. This left the load suspended in the air. He called for crane repair. The decedent was one of two millwrights who responded. He removed the gearbox cover, exposing the drum gear and pinion gear. He indicated to an electrician who had joined him on the plant catwalk that he saw a piece of metal caught between the gears, and he thought he could pull it out with a pair of channel locks. As he was attempting to dislodge the metal piece from the gear by pulling on it with a pair of channel locks in his right hand, and jogging the hoist motion switch with the remote control box in his left hand, a catastrophic failure occurred resulting in the unsupported load falling to the plant floor. The decedent was struck in the head and on his body by steel cables as they violently unspooled from the uncontrolled drum. Local police and fire personnel responded to the scene. He was pronounced dead at the site by the Medical Examiner. Recommendations: 1. When troubleshooting or making mechanical repairs on a crane, control all sources of energy. If the load is suspended, provide some means of support for the raised load to dissipate its potential energy. 2. Transport all loads as close to the floor as possible and ensure that there are no employees or obstructions in the path.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Training; Work-operations; Safety-equipment; Work-areas; Work-operations; Work-performance; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Machine-operation; Automotive-industry; Metalworking-industry
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-04MI074; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division