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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202357042 - Employee Killed By Falling Boom Truck

Accident: 202357042 -- Report ID: 0352430 -- Event Date: 12/20/2005
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30939255312/20/20050783Asplundh Tree Expert Co
On December 20, 2005, Asplundh Employees #1 through #3 reported to work, picked up their truck at the State Highway Administration Complex, and followed the state employee out to the work site. The work site was in a large median along the left shoulder on the outer loop of the beltway. They were to take down six dead trees. The three Asplundh employees set out the right and left outriggers on the boom truck. The right-side outrigger was extended out the full 41 inches and the plate was flush on the asphalt shoulder with no landing support under it. The left-side outrigger was not fully extended and the plate was placed on two 20-in. long 4-in. by 4-in. pieces of lumber that were either placed on top of the concrete curb or on an angle against the concrete curb. Neither outrigger was set up on a solid surface. Employee #3, the foreman for Asplundh, attached his tools to the outside of the boom's bucket and then climbed into the bucket. He was wearing a body belt and was tied off inside the bucket. He started booming out and then up toward the first tree. The other two Asplundh employees were standing on the shoulder of the highway and the State Highway employee was standing by the pick-up truck. Employee #3 had gone up approximately 50 feet and started to boom a few more feet towards the tree when the boom just stopped moving. Employee #3 tried to move the boom with the controls in the bucket, but nothing worked. He called down to the other two Asplundh employees and instructed them to go up on top of the boom truck, onto the pedestal platform that was over the cab area, and use the manual controls to try to bring the boom and bucket back to the main truck. Employee #2 went up onto the platform area. At some point the boom went down a couple of feet but did not go up or back at all. Employee #1, who was on the ground, moved the selector knob from "boom control" to "outrigger control" and went to the driver's side and stood between the guardrail and the truck. Employee #3 raised left outrigger off the two pieces of wood. When the outrigger raised it was retracting into the sleeve. It was not possible to determine how far the left outrigger had been extended and how much it retracted when it was moved. When the left outrigger was moved, the truck lifted up and tilted to the left, toward the guardrail and median area. The State Highway employee yelled to Employee #1. The truck seemed to stabilize for a few seconds and then Employee #1 apparently raised the left outrigger further and then the truck turned over and landed on the guardrail. pinning the Employee #1 who was standing on the ground between the left door and the guardrail. Employee #1 had turned completely around and was facing the guardrail when he was pinned. Employee #2, who was still on the upper platform, held on briefly and then fell approximately 10 feet towards the grassy embankment of the median area. Employee #3, the foreman who was in the boom's bucket, fell with the bucket to the ground and was partially ejected when it struck the ground. The State Highway employee and Employee#2 reached the pinned Employee #1 within seconds and he told them that he was pinned and then he lost consciousness. There was no way they could get the truck off Employee #1. The State Highway employee went and checked on the employee in the bucket and then called emergency services. The fire department and the State Police arrived quickly. Employee #1 employee was pronounced dead at the scene. Employee #3 was taken to Shock Trauma and the Employee #2 was taken to Bayview Medical Center. Employee #3 was hospitalized for treatment of cracked vertebra, cracked ribs, a collapsed lung, a black right eye, and multiple bruises. Employee #2 was hospitalized for treatment of back and left arm injuries.
Keywords: chest, boom truck, outrigger, equipment operator, equipment failure, crushed, struck by, falling object, logging, lost control
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 309392553 Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Timber cutting and logging occupations
2 309392553 Fatality Other Timber cutting and logging occupations
3 309392553 Hospitalized injury Other Timber cutting and logging occupations

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