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Deaths Due to Falling/Flying Objects

Case Reports

The following Case Reports of accidents investigated by OSHA illustrate how seemingly innocent workplace activities can have deadly consequences.

  • An employee was standing under a suspended scaffold that was hoisting a workman and three sections of ladder. Sections of the ladder became unlashed and fell 50 feet, striking the employee in the skull. The employee was not wearing any head protection and died from injuries received.

  • Two employees were using a wire rope to winch a wooden tool shed onto a flat bed trailer. The wire rope broke, snapped back, and struck one of the employees in the top of the head, killing him. The employee was not wearing a hard hat.

  • Workers were using a winch to pull a 10-foot section of a 600 lb. grain spout through a vent hole, when the spout became wedged. Using pry bars, they attempted to free the spout, which was still under tension from the winch.  When it popped free, the release of tension caused it to strike one of the workers in the head, who had no head protection.

  • A carpenter was attempting to anchor a plywood form in preparation for pouring a concrete wall, using a powder actuated tool. The nail passed through the hollow wall, traveled some 27 feet, and struck an apprentice in the head, killing him. The tool operator had never been trained in the proper use of the tool, and none of the employees in the area, including the victim, were wearing personal protective equipment.
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