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Structural Failure Leads to Worker Fatalities

A crew of steelworkers was connecting a steel beam to a steel column on the seventh level of an airport structure. The base of the column was secured to a sheer concrete wall by temporary welds to an embedded steel plate. When the crew encountered a problem connecting the beam to the column, a decision was made to pull the top of the column one inch to the north to facilitate the connection. The pull was performed by tensioning a guy wire, using a come-along, applying a fork at the column being connected, and using a sleeper. One worker was seated on the beam that was being connected, while another was standing at the base of the column, atop the concrete wall. When the force of the tensioning caused the temporary welds at the column base to fracture, the column collapsed, and the two workers fell to their death.

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