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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201031820 - Employee Injured In Fall When Structure Collapses

Accident: 201031820 -- Report ID: 0950635 -- Event Date: 01/06/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12030129601/15/19993721The Boeing Company
At approximately 12:35 p.m. on June 6, 1999, Employee #1, a welder, and a coworker were dismantling and wrecking a large, 15 ft by 30 ft by 14 ft high, MD11 aircraft assembly jig item #76-1, the MD-11 Combi-tool, that had earlier been brought over from building #3 and was lying in the open space outside of building #15. The assembly jig was comprised of miscellaneous structural steel. The workers' objective was to use an oxyacetylene torch to cut the whole steel structure into smaller segments and to put those into bins to be hauled away. Employee #1 allegedly cut partially through the bottom support brace and then cut two roof-level 4 in. square metal braces (or arms). When the two top supports were cut through, the weight load on the bottom support caused it to snap off and the whole arm fell forward. It struck Employee #1, who was still at the uppermost platform of the rolling ladder he was using to access the top the structure, and he fell 14 ft to the ground. He sustained severe head trauma and remained unconscious for approximately 1 minute. When he came to his senses, he was not unclear as to where he was or what had happened. He was taken to Long Beach (CA) Memorial Medical Center by paramedics, where he was diagnosed as having a concussion and hemorrhaging, and possible hip, pelvis, and elbow fractures. Coworkers later indicated that the dismantling job was not discussed in any detail before it was begun. It was left to the jig/ fixture person to communicate to Employee #1 what job was to be done that day, and the details of how it would be done, including any safety measure, was left to those two crew members. Normally for this type of job, support was provided by a fork lift, but apparently in this case no lift truck was available on that day. There was no written evidence to support that prior to the dismantling work, a survey was made by a qualified person about the possibility of an unplanned collapse of any portion of the structure. During the demolition/dismantling, continuous inspections were not made to detect hazards resulting from weakened or loosened material. The men were allowed to work under hazardous conditions without appropriate shoring or bracing of the structure under demolition.
Keywords: head, demolition, collapse, work rules, welder, fall, fall protection, bracing, elevated work plat, cutting and burning
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 120301296 Hospitalized injury Other Welders and cutters

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