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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200261386 - One Killed, One Injured When Crane Boom Falls

Accident: 200261386 -- Report ID: 0627100 -- Event Date: 12/14/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30403813612/15/20004491Global Materials Services, Llc
At approximately 8:30 a.m., Employees #1 and #2 were working at a dock under extremely cold weather conditions following a freezing rain storm that had passed through the area the previous day. They entered a lift basket attached to a crane that the crane operator intended to swing onto a barge where they were going to work. The crane operator raised the basket, swung it over the side of the dock, and lowered it close to the barge. The basket was then boomed down the rest of the way for an easier landing, with the boom angle at approximately 50 degrees. Employees #1 and #2 got out of the basket and signaled the crane operator to raise it. Employee #1 was standing on the right side of the basket and Employee #2 on the left when the crane operator started booming up. The operator heard a noise and, thinking it might be ice breaking off and hitting the cab, kicked out the boom hoist control. He engaged the boom hoist again and immediately heard the same noise and a pop. He saw the cable falling loose, which allowed the boom to fall, breaking over the side of the dock. Employee #1 was killed when caught under the falling boom. Employee #2 was struck by the boom and suffered contusions to his lower back and leg; he was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released. The boom cable had been replaced on July 22, 2000, and the crane had had its annual inspection on July 27, 2000. There was no load on the cable other than the boom itself and the manbasket. Subsequent investigation determined that ice buildup in the sheave of the boom point may have forced the boom cable out of the sheave and sheave guard, creating approximately 200 ft of slack in the cable that allowed the boom to fall. In terms of the cold weather, the crane operator arrived at the dock at 6:30 a.m., and had to chip ice from the windshield of the crane's cab and charge the crane's battery. He got the crane cranked, but the ice had frozen the swingers. He turned off the crane, chipped the ice and sprayed de-icer on the swing bands. This freed the swingers, but did not allow them to swing. He then chipped ice from the cab locking mechanism and sprayed de-icer on it. This freed the swing out. The crane operator then lowered the empty man-basket and crane ball to the barge to make sure the brakes were working. By then it was nearly 8:30 a.m., and that the crane operator raised the basket to the dock and placed a bag of oil dry in it in case that it would be needed to deal with ice on the barge.
Keywords: longshoring, crane boom, equipment failure, mech mat handling, struck by, frozen, falling object, contusion, crane
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 304038136 Hospitalized injury Bruise/Contus/Abras Stevedores
2 304038136 Fatality Other Stevedores

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