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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200980019 - Employee Killed In Fall From Mountain Peak

Accident: 200980019 -- Report ID: 0855610 -- Event Date: 07/05/1997
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11463824007/09/19977999Jackson Hole Mountain Guides
Employee #1, an acclaimed climbing guide with dozens of years of back-country experience, was leading a regular client up a 13,772 ft mountain peak. They were 500 ft below the summit when Employee #1 stopped to put on crampons and to secure himself and his client. He inserted a nut into a fissure in the mountain, and then moved horizontally a short distance before he began his ascent. He trailed his rope behind him, approximately 130 ft of it free to run from the anchor to his client. At some point during his climb, Employee #1 either slipped on the icy surface, or encountered some loose rock, and fell 120 ft. Although the nut held and arrested his fall, Employee #1 sustained, among other injuries, a compound fracture of the femur and a ruptured femoral artery. As a result of his internal injuries, Employee #1 went into hemorrhagic shock and died. Employee #1 had not asked his client for a belay, nor had he secured additional anchor points as he ascended. Both of these actions could have significantly reduced the distance of his fall. Conditions on the mountain had been recognized as difficult at that time of year, due to an unusually harsh winter and spring. One other fatality had already occurred that season.
Keywords: fracture, lifeline, loss of blood, hemorrhage, slip, fall protection, slippery surface, artery, leg
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 114638240 Fatality Other Guides

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