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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202422416 - Employee Catches Finger Between Pole Rail, Later Amputated

Accident: 202422416 -- Report ID: 0950652 -- Event Date: 07/08/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31669528707/25/201317944 Granite Inc
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on July 8, 2013, Employee #1, with 4 Granite Inc., was attaching a light pole (14 ft tall and 2.5 in. in diameter) to a new guardrail that had been installed on top of a 13 in. high concrete curb. The light pole was a plastic pipe with two lights, 4 square ft, held 3 ft apart and angled out to a total width of about 76 ins. It weighed approximately 125 pounds, and its center of gravity was estimated to have been about 9.5 ft from the bottom. Two brackets made from angle iron had been welded to the guardrail. One bracket was at approximately 29 ins. above the ground, and the other was at approximately 53 ins. above the ground. Two holes were drilled into each bracket to accommodate a U-bolt to hold the light pole in place. Employee #1, and a coworker, lifted the light pole up into place, and Employee #1 installed the upper U-bolt. The bottom of the pole was on the outside of a piece of electrical conduit. The pole had to be lifted up over the conduit so the wiring could be attached. Employee #1's supervisor told Employee #1 and his coworker to wait while the supervisor got some wood blocks to rest the pole on, in order to raise the pole into the proper position before attaching the lower U-bolt. While the supervisor was gone, the coworker attempted to lift the light pole up and over the conduit, so that it would rest in between the conduit and the wall. The coworker used a 4 ft crowbar to lift the pole up at its base. The coworker held the pole with one hand and held the crowbar with the other. Employee #1 was reaching out over the coworker's shoulder to give him room to work and was holding the pole with one hand to steady it. Employee #1 did not have control of the pole. Each employee thought the other was in control of the top-heavy light pole. When the coworker pried the pole up, it rotated counter-clockwise around the upper bracket. Employee #1's right thumb was caught between the pole and the upper rail of the guardrail. Employee #1 suffered an avulsion (skin torn off to the skeleton) to the pad of his right thumb. He underwent surgery to amputate a portion of the right thumb. This accident was caused by the misjudgment of a hazardous situation, specifically, attempting to use a crowbar to lift a tall, top-heavy light pole. Secondary factors were poor body positioning for the task, and a lack of proper communication between Employee #1 and the coworker about who was supporting the pole.
Keywords: excavation, amputated, guardrail, finger, lighting fixture, thumb, caught between, lighting, utility pole, communication
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Manufacturing plant Alteration or rehabilitation Under $50,000
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 316695287 Hospitalized injury Amputation Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Installing equipment (HVAC and other)
FatCause: Other

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