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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14331524 - Employee Killed When Aluminum Reflector Collapses

Accident: 14331524 -- Report ID: 0419700 -- Event Date: 09/30/1992
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11012958210/06/19921799Advanced Tower Service & Erections, Inc.
On the morning of September 30, 1992, Employee #1 was part of a three-man crew that was taking down an aluminum reflector angled at 45 degree from the vertical at the top of a 275-foot high microwave relay tower. They were replacing it with a receiving/transmitting dish. Employee #1 had to go into the aluminum framing, which supports the reflector and secures it to the tower, to attach the bridle sling for a tag line used to keep the reflector and framing from hitting the tower while it is being lowered to the ground. While out in the reflector framing, the employee must attach his safety belt lanyard to the framing rather to the tower. Employee #1 was on the reflector framing when the bolts at the top securing bracket sheared, and the top of the unit began peeling away from the tower, pulling the bottom bracket off the tower. The reflector unit and Employee #1 fell to the ground, where he died of massive head and trunk trauma. The brackets, nuts, and bolts securing reflector framing to the tower had been checked before Employee #1 went into the framing and appeared to be normal. The company had a contract to perform this work on a series of microwave relay towers and had already done several without a problem. However, this particular tower was located adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico and the corrosive effect of salt air on aluminum and steel brackets secured with aluminum nuts and bolts had not been considered. This corrosion was not detectable without disassembly of the brackets.
Keywords: head, collapse, construction, equipment failure, bolt, corrosion, fall, tower
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 110129582 Fatality Fracture Occupation not reported

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