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Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14552772 - Employee Killed, Another Injured In Scaffold Collapse

Accident: 14552772 -- Report ID: 0213400 -- Event Date: 09/26/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10024186809/27/19881791Karl Koch Erecting Co., Inc
Employees #1 and #2, iron workers, were working from suspended traveler scaffolding, removing deteriorated rivets from the structural steel beneath the Outerbridge Crossing. Two 35 ft wide by 20 ft long scaffolds were positioned parallel to one another, and were 135 ft above the water on the north and south sides of the 47 ft span. The scaffolds were designed in 1971 specifically for bridge painting and maintenance. This contractor was using the scaffolding to perform structural steel work. Each platform weighed approximately 3,000 lb and was designed to be suspended from 10 trolley supports, except while the platform was being moved. At that time, four trolley supports per support beam, or a total of eight, were used. The trolley supports were designed to be attached to turnbuckles, which had beam clamps at the top and were secured to the bridge stringers with 8 in. long bolts and 3/4 in. nuts. The bottom of the turnbuckle was connected to 2 ton capacity trolleys. The trolleys were positioned onto the platform trolley support I-beams. Trolley wheels beneath the top flanges of the support beams suspended the platform. The scaffold platform was moved approximately 5 ft at a time by a rope and block come-along or wire rope tear fall, and then the fifth trolley support was repositioned at the leading edges of the scaffold. Employees #1 and #2 had advanced the south platform and were repositioning the trolley support beam clamps when the trolley supports detached from the I-beam. Employee #1 fell into the water below and was killed. Employee #2 jumped and grabbed the overhead structural steel wind bracing. The scaffold, still anchored by three trolley supports at the northeast corner, swung in and struck Employee #2's right leg, fracturing it. The platform swung in again and hit Employee #2's left leg, causing ligament injuries. Employee #2 managed to climb to the top of the steel, where he was rescued. Investigation revealed that neither the employer nor the employees received any safety training regarding the suspended traveler scaffolds. None of the employees were familiar with its operation or had worked on this type of scaffolding. The employer and employees used their own methods to advance the work platforms. In addition, the employer had improperly modified the scaffolds and had not provided guard railings, safety belts, safety nets, or a life saving skiff.
Keywords: fracture, guardrail, iron worker, work rules, safety belt, construction, scaffold collapse, fall, fall protection, net
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 100241868 Fatality Fracture Occupation not reported
2 100241868 Hospitalized injury Fracture Occupation not reported

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