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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201170503 - Employee Fractured Leg When Wall Panel Fell

Accident: 201170503 -- Report ID: 0950621 -- Event Date: 07/30/1997
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12579460210/21/19971794Thomas Brothers Excavating, Inc.
Employees were tasked to demolish a restaurant along with the associated paving and a concrete fence and sound wall that surrounded the property. At the time of the accident, employees were removing two sections of the fence or wall to provide truck and equipment access. The fence consisted of precast reinforced concrete panels and metal posts. The panels measured 6 feet high and 3 inches thick and were held in place by four tabs on the posts. Similar panels on the west side of the site were 14 feet long, but employees said the panel involved in the accident was smaller. A wood facia covered the metal posts but did not provide any support. Employees #1 and a coworker had removed the first panel by removing the facia, cutting the tabs with a portable grinder and picking the panel up with a front loader so that it fell into the bucket. They tried the same procedure with the second panel, but they could not get the teeth of the bucket under the panel because of a 2-inch by 12-inch facia board run across the bottom. Employee #1, who was the foreman, instructed the coworker to back the loader about 15 feet from the panel and attempted to remove the facia board with a 6 foot steel pry bar. After the facia was removed, Employee #1 waved the coworker to drive the loader back up to the wall. Just then the panel began to fall and the coworker yelled to look out. Employee #1 tried to push off the wall and get out of the way, but his feet slipped on some wet leaves and he fell. The panel fell on his leg. Although it was summer, the ground was wet because someone had stolen the plumbing fixtures during the night and the water was not shut off. Employee #1 was wearing work boots. Employee #1 suffered a compound fracture of his leg and was hospitalized for four days. Employee #1 had surgery on his leg while in the hospital and was off of work for two and a half months. The accident occurred because the precast concrete panel was not supported while the facia was being removed. This could have been done by removing all the facia prior to cutting the support tabs, or by shoring the wall with structural members.
Keywords: grinder, fracture, front end loader, panel, precast, struck by, leg, pry bar
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building Demolition $250,000 to $500,000 1 6
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 125794602 Hospitalized injury Fracture Excavating and loading machine operators FallDist:
Cause: Demolition
FatCause: Collapse of structure

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