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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201020096 - Employee Injures Back In Fall During Rappel Training

Accident: 201020096 -- Report ID: 0950615 -- Event Date: 07/07/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11963216408/11/20039224Healdsburg Fire Department
At approximately 5:10 p.m. on July 7, 2003, Employee #1 and three coworkers of the Healdsburg Fire Department were participating in rappel training. All four employees were firefighters and they all had previous rappel experience. The employees were on the third story of the Healdsburg Fire Department's training tower and were preparing to rappel down the outside of the building to the ground. Employee #1 put on the required safety gear consisting of a chest harness, a seat harness, a carabiner, gloves, and a helmet. Employee #1 had the rappel line attached to the top rail of the stair banister and was standing on the parapet, which had a flat top metal rail about 12 inches wide. One coworker was in control of the safety line and another coworker checked the setup. As Employee #1 began to lean back to start his rappelled descent, his feet slipped and he fell over the parapet. He hit the wall with his buttocks and injured his back. As he fell, one coworker locked his safety line, preventing him from falling further. Two other coworkers then pulled him to safety. Employee #1 was transported to Healdsburg General Hospital, where he was hospitalized for treatment.
Keywords: firefighter, fracture, buttocks, slip, struck against, back, fall, rappelling, lost balance, work surface
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 119632164 Hospitalized injury Fracture Firefighting occupations

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