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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200822807 - Employee Is Paralyzed When Wall Collapses

Accident: 200822807 -- Report ID: 0521400 -- Event Date: 02/04/2005
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30814868302/07/20051751Dryden Construction Company, Inc.
At 7:45 a.m. on February 4, 2005, Employee #1, a carpenter with the Dryden Construction Company, was a member of a crew of 10 employees who were attempting to raise by hand a balloon wall on a residential jobsite. As the crew was raising the wall, the wall began to slide off the deck. When it did, the crew lost control of the wall. It fell down, crushing Employee #1, who was unable to get out of the way. Employee #1 was paralyzed from the chest down. The balloon wall was18 ft by 18 ft in size, and it weighed approximately 1134 lbs. The construction consisted of 2 in. by 6 in. stud framing, with 0.5 in. plywood, multiple headers, and fascia, with lumber sizes ranging from 2-by-6 lumber to 2-by-12 lumber. The wall was not adequately secured to the deck to prevent it from sliding. Metal straps were used on the east end and in the center of the wall, but the west end was toe nailed to the deck. As the wall was being raised, the portion that was toe nailed pulled out, and the wall began to slide. The crew did not use mechanical aids, such as jacks, cranes, or a fork truck. There was no blocking and cribbing to prevent crushing injuries to employees in case of failure. No one wore personal protection equipment. Though the company has a written safety program for employees and conducts toolbox talks on an irregular basis, there is no company policy or training program for raising balloon walls. There was no prelift planning to determine the weight of the wall, the size of the crew needed to raise the wall, how to secure the bottom plate, or if mechanical aids were needed to raise the wall.
Keywords: chest, paralysis, wall, unsecured panel, construction, neck, struck by, falling object, lost control, unstable load
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling New project or new addition $250,000 to $500,000 2 20
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 308148683 Hospitalized injury Fracture Carpenters FallDist:
Cause: Exterior carpentry
FatCause: Struck by falling object/projectile

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