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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200376366 - Two Workers Are Injured When Truck Falls Off Bridge

Accident: 200376366 -- Report ID: 0454510 -- Event Date: 05/15/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31700628605/21/20131623Sumter Utilities Inc
On May 15, 2013, Employee #1, the foreman for the street light division, Employee #2, and Coworkers #3, #4, and #5, all employed by Sumter Utilities Inc., were removing broken aluminum light poles from the Morrison and Huger off-ramp of the Ravenel bridge in Charleston, SC. These light poles, which had been bolted onto the side of the bridge, had broken off and fallen into the roadway after being struck during an accident earlier in the day. The weather was warm and clear, with a temperature of 81 degrees. The work crew started removing the poles at approximately 2:00 p.m., after the police blocked off the section of the road they were working in. They had three poles to remove from this location. They used a 2012 Freightliner with a 2012 Altec Digger Derrick work body, South Carolina license plate number P728016, 48' boom extended, FMCSA inspected December 2012, Equipment Number 5154, USDOT 278298. The boom of the Digger Derrick was used to pull the damaged poles up and place them on the rack of the truck. Employee #1, when subsequently interviewed, stated that he had been trained to always secure the boom by lowering it completely down to the auger stow bracket before moving the truck. However, on this occasion he left the boom elevated to approximately 5 feet, at unknown length of extension, so that Coworkers #3 and #4 could strap the poles down in the rack. Employee #1 said that he could not remember why he did not make sure that the boom was secured and resting in the auger stow bracket before getting off the operating station. Employee #1 said that all of the training he had received had taught him to make sure the boom was secured before moving the truck. Employee #1 and Employee #2 were in the Digger Derrick truck, Coworker #1 was in a bucket truck, Coworker #2 was in another bucket truck, and Coworker #3 was in a pickup truck. They all began to proceed off the bridge, travelling at a speed of approximately 30 MPH. Suddenly the boom on the Digger Derrick truck rose up and struck the Meeting Street sign, which was 15 to 18 feet directly above the roadway and measured approximately 18 feet long by 3 feet high. The boom straightened out, and the front of the Digger Derrick truck reared up. The Digger Derrick truck fell on its right (passenger) side and slid 30 to 40 feet down the side of the bridge. Then the boom swung around to the right and pulled the Digger Derrick truck off of the bridge. The Digger Derrick truck came down on its rear and fell 30 feet to the ground below on its left (driver) side. Coworkers #1, #2, and #3 stopped their trucks and looked over the bridge rail. Coworker #1 saw movement in the truck and phoned for emergency services. Then the three coworkers made their way down to the accident site. When they arrived, the police and emergency medical service were onsite, and the coworkers were unable to approach the truck. Employees #1 and #2 were transported to the hospital, admitted, and treated. The initial report on injuries indicated that Employee # 1 had two fractured ribs and fluid in his chest as well as a chipped bone in his shoulder. Employee #2 had cuts and bruises to his face, and strains and bruises to his back, shoulder, and leg. Both employees required extensive surgeries and, at the time of this report, had not returned to work.
Keywords: boom truck, digger-derrick, fracture, unsecured, construction, laceration, rib, fall, bridge, utility pole
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Powerline, transmission line Maintenance or repair Under $50,000
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 317006286 Hospitalized injury Fracture Supervisors; electricians & power transm. install. FallDist:
FallHt:30
Cause: Traffic protection
FatCause: Fall, other
2 317006286 Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Supervisors; electricians & power transm. install. FallDist:
FallHt:30
Cause: Traffic protection
FatCause: Fall, other

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