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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201071974 - Employee Fractured Back In Fall From Ladder

Accident: 201071974 -- Report ID: 0950632 -- Event Date: 07/17/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12587947808/02/20070761Dominguez Grove Service Inc
At 11:00 a.m. on July 17, 2007, an accident occurred at an avocado orchard located in Escondido, California. The employer was Dominguez Grove Service, Inc. Employee #1 was harvesting avocados from a large mature tree inside an avocado orchard when the accident happened. He was approximately 20 feet up on an aluminum extension ladder picking avocados. The avocados are collected from the branches and then deposited into a large canvas bag carried on the front of the worker between his waist and chest. The canvas bag of avocados weighs approximately 80 pounds when full. Employee #1 was stepping down two steps while facing the extension ladder, with one hand on the side railing of the ladder and his other hand holding the front of the bag of avocados. The ladder shifted out from underneath one of the three branches that were supporting it. Employee #1 tried to grab for the other side railing of the ladder during the shift, removing his hand from the full bag of avocados, but lost his balance and fell backwards 20 feet to the ground. Employee #1 believed that the weight of the full bag of avocados contributed into pulling him backwards, making it impossible for him to grab the side railing with his one free hand. Employee #1 was transported from the orchard to Scripps Memorial Hospital by helicopter. He stayed at the hospital from July 17 through July 26, 2007. Employee #1 sustained severe compression fractures (T7 and T8) of his spine with blood and bone in his spinal cord and immediate paraplegia. He was then moved to Scripps Memorial Rehabilitation Center. Employee #1 was unaware when he would be released from the rehabilitation center and still had very little feeling in both of his legs.
Keywords: fracture, paralysis, spine, agriculture, ladder, fall
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 125879478 Hospitalized injury Fracture Farm workers

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