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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14391551 - Employee Killed In Fall From Cooling Tower Platform

Accident: 14391551 -- Report ID: 0625700 -- Event Date: 07/20/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10147574707/22/19882819Amax Metal Recovery, Inc.
Employee #1 was working approximately 42 ft above the ground from a redwood platform atop a cooling tower. The 5 ft by 5 ft 6 1/2 in. landing platform for the stairs was equipped with a 41 in. high toprail and a midrail, both made of 2 by 4s, and a 5 3/4 in. toeboard. The toprail and midrail had been bolted from the outside into the 4 in. by 4 in. stanchions using a carbon steel bolt with a washer and nut. A piece of 3/4 in. plywood completely covered the deck of the landing platform. All the lumber was redwood. Employee #1 tripped on the edge of the decking, slipped, or leaned against the handrails, causing the top rail to pull loose over the bolt and fall to one side. He fell from the cooling tower platform and was killed. There were no witnesses. The cooling tower uses only water, no chemical mixtures. Due to the high humidity, cooling towers in this part of the country have a tendency to produce algae, which can result in slippery conditions. The top- and midrails were also split on each end due to age and weather.
Keywords: guardrail, work rules, slip, equipment failure, tripped, fall, slippery surface, elevated work plat, tower
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 101475747 Fatality Bruise/Contus/Abras Occupation not reported

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