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Assembler/fabricator dies when struck by "L" rack loaded with glass mirrors in Washington State.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
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 08WA049, 2010 Jun; :1-22
In September 2008, a 35-year-old male died when he was struck by a metal shipping framework known as an "L" rack. The victim was a skilled assembler and fabricator who worked in the model room at a custom glass and mirror manufacturing facility in Washington State. The rack was loaded with a crate of mirrors that tipped over while being moved by three employees using two pallet jacks. Prior to the event the victim was engaged in moving a large "L" rack loaded with an estimated 3,000 lb crate of plate mirrors. The victim and two co-workers were in the process of moving the large "L" rack of mirrors closer to a glass cutting table area inside the business. The rack was previously offloaded by other employees using a forklift from a truck and then moved again by the victim, a co-worker, and the night supervisor using two manual pallet jacks. The "L" rack was designed with forklift pockets at the bottom with the intention that it be moved using a forklift only. As the loaded rack was being moved and repositioned by the employees using the two pallet jacks, it fell rearward and struck the victim. Several employees attempted to move the rack and mirror crate while 911 responded. The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital due to blunt force head trauma caused by being struck by the rack loaded with the crate of mirrors. To prevent similar occurrences, Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) recommends that businesses engaged in handling, shipping, or receiving plate glass or similar products should follow these recommendations: 1. Develop a safer method of glass transportation and handling that eliminates the currently used glass rack. 2. Modify glass racks permanently or temporarily while at the business location to prohibit the use of pallet jacks. 3. Design and organize the work environment to eliminate hazard potential. 4. Institute and enforce strict material handling policies that prohibit unsafe and improper materials handling. 5. Require written hazard assessments and plans specific to materials handling tasks. 6. Provide safety training materials in an appropriate language for employees.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Engineering-controls; Materials-handling; Materials-handling-equipment; Manual-materials-handling; Training; Work-practices
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-08WA049; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008487
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division