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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200533990 - Employee Is Injured When Scissor Lift Does Not Lower

Accident: 200533990 -- Report ID: 0751910 -- Event Date: 12/11/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31520075812/28/20101731Quality Power & Control Electric L.L.C.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on or about December 11, 2010, Employee #1 operated a Skyjack SJM 3219 scissor lift to pull cable. A contracting company other than Employee #1's employer owned the scissor lift. The scissor lift was not inspected before use. Employee #1 operated the scissor lift in an elevated position. Employee #1 leaned over the top rail of the lift and watched the wheels of the scissor lift. Employee #1 drove the lift forward and traveled under an evaporator drip pan. Employee #1 toggled the controls out of drive into lift mode and attempted to lower the lift away from the evaporator drip pan. Employee #1's body pressed forward on the joystick controller. The lift went up, instead of down, and Employee #1 was pinned between the lift frame and the drip pan. Employee #1 pushed the emergency stop button on the scissor lift. The button did not work. Another employee, a coworker, circled the lift and looked for emergency lowering controls. The coworker climbed the lift to hit the emergency stop button. The coworker intended to move the joystick controller, but could not reach it. The coworker called for help. Employee #1 lost consciousness. The Foreman was alerted and activated the emergency lowering valve, which lowered the lift and took the pressure off of Employee #1's body. The Foreman called emergency services and the host company's project coordinator. Emergency services transferred Employee #1 to a hospital in an ambulance. Employee #1 sustained broken vertebrae in his neck and had limited use of one arm due to shoulder damage. Later it was determined that, in addition to the inoperable emergency stop button, the lift/drive enable push button on the scissor lift did not function properly. The lift/drive enable push button was designed so that it must be pushed in the entire time the machine was in motion; if not depressed, the machine would stop. If the button had been in operation, Employee #1 could have simply lifted his hand off of the button, and the lift would not have continued to press upward. Also, the scissor lift had a sticker label that advised how to use the emergency lowering value, but the sticker was not fully readable. The emergency lowering value was also difficult to locate; it took a little over one minute to find the valve. The employer was unable to provide documentation that Employee #1 received formal training to operate the lift. However, the employer instructed employees in lift safety during a tool box talk within the six months prior to the accident.
Keywords: fracture, safety relief valve, shoulder, inadequate maint, electrician, equipment operator, equipment failure, vertebra, aerial lift, inattention
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Manufacturing plant Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 1
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315200758 Hospitalized injury Fracture Electricians' apprentices

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