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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201161759 - Employee Killed In Fall When Suspension Scaffold Fails

Accident: 201161759 -- Report ID: 0950641 -- Event Date: 03/29/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12605682903/29/20007349Sunrise Window Cleaners

At 4:00 p.m. on March 29, 2000, Employee #1 and a coworker were using an Altrex 20 ft platform powered by two Powerclimb motors and gearboxes to wash windows at a 600-unit, three- towered condo complex. They had been working at the site for three days and had finished their last window of the day when they began climbing up the face of the building from the ground to store their platform on the roof for the night. Prior to their ascent, the coworker told Employee #1 that they should tie-off their lifelines and he attached his harness to the platform. Employee #1 responded that since it was their last rise of the day, this was unnecessary. During their ascent, the shaft on one of the motors sheared, causing the primary brake to fail. The clutch then failed and dropped one end of the platform, leaving the platform hanging vertically by one cable against the side of the building. The lower end of the dangling scaffold was 64 ft from the ground, and the upper end was 87 ft from the ground. Employee #1 fell to his death, while the coworker, attached to the platform by his lifeline and harness, was able to climb onto a balcony to safety. The scaffold hung by two 5/16 in. wire ropes attached to two davits on the roof. In addition, a thick black electrical cord went from the roof to power the motors at each end of the platform. The wire rope did not break and ran appropriately through the motors. Employee #1 was wearing a full-body fall protection harness, but there were no fall protection lifelines hanging from the roof. Two lifelines were observed during the subsequent inspection, one lying near the davits on the roof, one tangled on the frame of the platform; neither were attached. There were lifeline attachment points on the davit support sockets.

Keywords: window washer, lifeline, equipment failure, two pt susp scaffold, fall, fall protection, tie-off, scaffold

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 126056829 Fatality Other Laborers, except construction

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