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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201043684 - Employee Is Struck And Killed By Fan Blades

Accident: 201043684 -- Report ID: 0953220 -- Event Date: 02/07/2008
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31163832402/07/20089199City Of Henderson
On February 8, 2008, Employee #1 was working as an HVAC technician. He was working alone. The computer overseeing a cooling tower on the penthouse level roof of the city hall building had picked up a vibration alarm. It was displaying the alarm on a device being monitored by Employee #1. Employee #1 sent himself to determine the reason for the alarm. Employee #1 entered the cooling tower without shutting off or locking out power to the unit. The vibration switch consisted of a steel ball resting on a pedestal, just below which was a spring-loaded platform. If the ball landed on the platform due to excessive fan vibration, a circuit was opened. It is believed that Employee #1 stood on an A-frame ladder to reset the vibration switch. When he removed the steel ball from the platform, the circuit closed and the unit began running. Employee #1's jacket was caught up in the shaft of the unit's fan, located immediately above the vibration switch. As Employee #1 was suspended by one arm, his head was struck repeatedly by the blades of the rotating fan. Employee #1 subsequently died from his injuries. There were no witnesses to the incident.
Keywords: head, maintenance, fan, fan blade, cooling tower, alarm, ladder, lockout, vibrations, struck by
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 311638324 Fatality Cut/Laceration Engineering technicians, n.e.c.

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