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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201043239 - Employee Severed At Waist When Struck By Counterweight

Accident: 201043239 -- Report ID: 0953220 -- Event Date: 08/09/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31101906108/09/20071542Perini Building Company
At approximately 5:45 p.m. on August 9. 2007, Employee #1 and a coworker were each operating a manlift at a tower under construction. Employee #1, who was operating the left car, was at ground level, while the right car was at level 15, picking up a drywall worker to take down. The worker was dropped off at the basement level (the first floor above ground level), as Employee #1 was standing on the outside of the manlift tower, opposite the building, and leaning into it to grease the rollers. The coworker operating the right car was returning to level 15 to pick up the rest of the drywall clean-up crew when a coworker on level 19 called for Employee #1's car to pick him up. The operator of the right car, being at level 15 already and knowing that Employee #1's car was at ground level, continued up to level 19. When he got there and opened the gate to pick up the worker, the car shook and then stopped operating. When the right car had reached level 19, its 9,000 lb counterweight moved down the manlift tower on the side opposite the building, where Employee #1 was working. The counterweight struck Employee #1 in the midsection and severed his body in half at the waist. Apparently, the counterweight hung up momentarily as the right car continued to level 19, creating slack in the counterweight's lines. Once the counterweight struck Employee #1, it free-fell 15 ft to 17 ft to the bottom of the pit, smashing a structural member and the conduits supplying power to the manlifts. This was the reason why the right car could not move from level 19.
Keywords: severed, maintenance, counterbalance, caught by, construction, struck by, elevator, falling object, elevator shaft
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building New project or new addition $20,000,000 and over 60 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 311019061 Fatality Amputation Elevator operators FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Elevator, escalator installation
FatCause: Elevator (struck by elevator or counter-weights)

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