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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200070894 - Three Employees Killed In Fall From Communications Tower

Accident: 200070894 -- Report ID: 0453720 -- Event Date: 12/03/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30293063112/09/19991721Daniel Zortman Dba The Quality Tower Painting Comp
Employee #1, the company owner, Employee #2, age 19, and Employee #3, age 16, were ascending a 1,500 ft tall communications tower. They were using a practice referred to in the industry as riding the line. They were all tied to loops in a 3/4 in. nylon rope, one above the other, with Employee #3 on top, Employee #2 in the middle, and Employee #1 on the bottom. Each man was carrying assorted equipment, such as paint and tools, and an approximately 100 lb rest platform was attached to the bottom of the rope. The men and their equipment were being raised to work areas on the tower by a coworker using a capstan hoist with a 1,000 lb lift capacity. They were going up the outside of the 7 ft by 7 ft by 7 ft guyed tower when the rope on the drum of the capstan hoist became loose. The coworker was unable to control the rope and the three employees and their equipment fell approximately 1,000 ft to the ground. Employees #1 through #3 were killed.
Keywords: maintenance, communication tower, hoisting mechanism, unsecured, work rules, construction, hoist, fall, tower, hoistline
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Tower, tank, storage elevator Alteration or rehabilitation Under $50,000 1500 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 302930631 Fatality Other Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:1000
Cause: Exterior painting
FatCause: Fall, other
2 302930631 Fatality Other Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:1000
Cause: Exterior painting
FatCause: Fall, other
3 302930631 Fatality Other Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:1000
Cause: Exterior painting
FatCause: Fall, other

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