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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170710966 - Employee Dies In Crane Accident

Accident: 170710966 -- Report ID: 0111500 -- Event Date: 02/17/2004
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12315539202/17/20041622Balfour Beatty Construction, Inc.
At approximately 7:00 a.m. on February 17, 2004, Employee #1, an operator of an American crane, and a five-man crew, were working at a ship scrapping yard to remove a fascia grinder located on the north end of the yard (island). The crew consisted of one crane operator, three ironworkers, and one ironworker foreman. They started out the day by making slight adjustments to a Manitowoc barge and two scrap barges. After all adjustments were made, the barges were placed into their final positions. One ironworker, along with a set of oxygen-acetylene torches, boarded the western-most scrap barge and moved to the east scrap barge. Approximately three hours later, the ironworker foreman attached the required rigging to the Manitowoc crane, which was accessed through the westernmost scrap barge. The two ironworkers were lifted in a man basket up to the northeast corner of the island, an area between the center and south fascia girder in span 8, and the rigging equipment was attached to Employee #1's crane block. The two ironworkers set up the oxygen-acetylene cutting torches, while Employee #1 applied 70,000 pounds of tension to the rigging and then walked down the beam and connected the rigging of the Manitowoc crane to the girders pick point. Then the Manitowoc crane operator applied 68,000 pounds of tension. The two ironworkers on the island walked out to the north fascia girder and proceeded to cut the easternmost floor beam. The entire floor beam was cut and the crew, moving in a westerly direction, proceeded to the next floor beam. The top flange of the next two floor beams was cut, leaving one floor beam on the west end of the north fascia girder. The last remaining floor beam was cut until approximately one inch remained. The ironworker making the cuts in the floor beam used his radio to report that one inch remained. There were no objections or problems stated by other members of the crew and the ironworker cut the remaining portion of the last floor beam. The ironworker used his radio again to inform the crew that the floor beam was cut clear from the north fascia girder. Both ironworkers proceeded to exit the north end of pier number 7 and returned to the island. Once safely on the island, the ironworkers used their radio to notify the crew of their status. About two hours later, with the two ironworkers still on the island, the ironworker foreman was now in the westernmost scrap barge, and the third ironworker was located in the easternmost scrap barge. One of the ironworkers on the island called to the Manitowoc crane, by radio, instructing to cable up. But before the operator could do so, Employee #1 started the engine of his crane. The third ironworker observed the east side of the girder to be approximately 2 feet above the pier cap. At the same time, the ironworkers on the island, walking east observed that the east end of the girder was approximately one foot off the pier cap and the ironworker on the west end of the island agreed. The Manitowoc crane operator did not cable or boom up and felt a jolt on the left side of his crane and looked out to his right to see the location of the tug boat, which was near the dock away from the barges. Then he looked up at the rigging and boom tip and observed the girder curling in the direction of the water. The girder was half way down between the pier caps and the water, and the boom of the American crane and was breaking apart. The Manitowoc crane operator felt his crane being pulled, looked out the cab door, and observed the west side tracks of the crane approximately 5 feet above the timber mats. The Manitowoc crane operator released the friction brake, jumped out of the cab and ran towards the stern end of the barge crouching down on the south side of a concrete jersey barrier, which was used as a crane stop at the end of the track. Both an ironworker and the ironworker foreman, on the scrap barges, ran to the north end of the barges. The ironworker climbed over the north w
Keywords: shipyard, hoisting mechanism, collapse, scrap yard, hoist, caught between, crushed, crane
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Bridge New project or new addition $20,000,000 and over X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 123155392 Fatality Other Crane and tower operators FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Demolition
FatCause: Crushed/run-over/trapped of operator by operating

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