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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202483673 - Employee Is Struck By Headache Ball, Falls And Later Dies

Accident: 202483673 -- Report ID: 0420600 -- Event Date: 09/20/2008
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31269755009/19/20081791Top Hat Steel Erectors, Llc
On September 20, 2008, Employee #1 was working on a crew that was setting open web steel joists in a bay using a rented crane. Coworker #1, the crane operator, was setting blind and was in communication with the employee, who was acting as connector. Coworker #2 was the other connector. They were working 27 ft from the ground. Employee #1 was working one end of the 40 ft long joist, and Coworker #2 was working the other. Employee #1 was installing 2 field bolts in his end, and Coworker #2 was wiring his end to a seat set in a tilt up concrete wall. The wire rope sling was then released from the joist by slackening the hoist line and letting the sling lift naturally out of the hook, which had its keeper wired back. After setting one particular joist, the sling would not come out of the hook because it had a twist in it. The employee unhooked his lanyard and cooned the joist out to the sling, where he unhooked it and radioed to Coworker #1 to drop it down to the floor so a man could straighten it out. He then started back to the end of the joist. The sling was straightened out before he reached the end so he radioed to Coworker #1 something to the effect of "highball it". As the headache ball came up, it struck the bottom chord of the joist and detached it from the wired end. That end fell and struck the concrete floor. The employee, still on the joist and not tied off yet, grabbed hold of the joist in preparation for impact. His face struck the top chord of the joist when the opposite end hit the floor. He then fell off the joist to the floor below, approximately 20 to 25 ft, landing on his face. He then rolled several feet off a 2 ft high stage, again striking his face. Employee #1 was taken by helicopter to Bay Front Hospital, where he died two days later.
Keywords: steel connector, fall, headache ball, crane
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Other building New project or new addition $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 1 30 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 312697550 Fatality Fracture Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:27
Cause: Steel Erection Of Open Web Steel Joists-Connecting
FatCause: Fall, other

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