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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201773074 - Employee Drowns When Caught By Capsizing Barge

Accident: 201773074 -- Report ID: 0213900 -- Event Date: 04/18/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31089691504/18/20071611George Harms Construction Co., Inc.
At approximately 3:45 PM on April 18, 2007, Employee #1 had accessed a hopper barge to release a cable that had been used to support the barge on the starboard side. The barge, a Flexifloat, is a modular system consisting of two 10 ft by 40 ft sections side by side with another 10 ft by 20 ft section attached at the end. The total size was 20 ft by 50 ft. The hopper section consisted of 1-in. plate steel. The plates were welded vertically to the deck and the side plates were welded at an angle with steel I beams for support to deflect material to the center. The plates were approximately 8 ft high. The barge was used to catch construction debris from a bridge that was being demolished. After Employee #1 released the cable, a coworker who was operating a tug boat, put the boat at notch one in reverse to back the barge out from under the bridge. After moving approximately 2 ft the barge listed to starboard approximately 6 to12 inches. It then rolled back to port the same distance, then back to even keel. It then rolled back to port and capsized both vessels. As the vessels were rolling to the port side, Employee #1 jumped into the water and started to swim away. The coworker, at almost the same time, jumped from the pilot house and swam away. As the barge capsized, Employee #1 was caught in the hopper section trapping him under the barge and he drowned.
Keywords: barge, asphyxiated, jump on moving equip, caught by, caught between, drown, boat, overturn
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Bridge Demolition $20,000,000 and over 20 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 310896915 Fatality Asphyxia Sailors and deckhands FallDist:
Cause: Demolition
FatCause: Drown, non-lethal fall

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