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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201187218 - Worker'S Legs Are Fractured When Struck By Falling Beam

Accident: 201187218 -- Report ID: 0950611 -- Event Date: 03/12/2014
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31717687303/12/20141771Dees-Hennessey, Inc.

At 9:30 a.m. on March 12, 2014, Employee #1, employed by a structural engineering construction company herein designated Employer #1, was working as a lead laborer at a project where the employer had been subcontracted for construction of a swimming pool. Coworker #1, employed by Employer #2, another construction subcontractor at the site, was operating a Caterpillar Model 330DL with a 4-cubic yard bucket capacity excavator. This excavator was being used to dig the swimming pool. The site foreman was elsewhere on the site. As part of the excavation process, on the previous day, March 11, 2014, a 4,850-pound, 48-foot long waler (horizontal steel shoring member) had been placed in position and rested onto "chairs" (supporting brackets on a column for the waler) approximately 7 feet high. Two clamps were installed onto each of the "chairs" of the two columns to prevent the waler from moving/sliding. The waler was later determined to be on the wrong side of the excavation. The waler had to be removed from the west side of the excavation and placed onto the east side. Before this action could occur, the four clamps had to be taken off of the "chairs." On March 12, 2014, Employee #1 was on the bottom of the excavation making preparations to remove the clamps. Coworker #1, operating the excavator, pulled the waler off of the "chairs." The waler landed on Employee #1. Emergency services were called, and the San Francisco Fire Department responded. Employee #1 was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was admitted and treated for fractures of both femurs. At the time of this report, Employee #1 had undergone five surgeries. This event was reported to Cal/OSHA by the San Francisco Fire Department on March 12, 2014. Cal/OSHA sent two engineers, who began their investigation on March 12, 2014. During the course of the investigation, interviews were conducted with the project superintendent, the safety director, Employee #1, and Coworker #1. No citation for a serious accident-related violation was issued to Employee #1's employer, because Employee #1 had not known that the excavator was to be operated and moved. However, Employer #2, the subcontractor whose employee was operating the excavator, was cited a serious accident-related violation as the creating employer. T8 CCR '1616.1 (o) requires that during lifting, there shall not be contact with obstructions. The operator swung (lifted) his boom to get another load of dirt. He did not realize that the slings were still attached to the waler. When he swung the boom, it pulled the waler off of the "chairs," and the waler landed on Employee #1. No other violations were cited.

Keywords: excavation, fracture, steel beam, installing, boom, construction, thigh, excavator, struck by, falling object
Accident Details
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Other building Other $250,000 to $500,000

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 317176873 Hospitalized injury Fracture Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Swimming pool construction
FatCause: Struck by falling object/projectile

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