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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202541298 - Employee Caught Between Elevator And Shaft Is Killed

Accident: 202541298 -- Report ID: 0950641 -- Event Date: 03/11/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30087092003/11/20104215American Supply Company
On March 11, 2010, Employee #1 and a coworker were employees of American Supply Company. Along with a third worker, the elevator operator, they were riding inside a freight elevator delivering sixty cases of hangers to a customer on the tenth floor of an eleven-story office building in Los Angeles, CA. The freight elevator was installed before 1947 and was used exclusively for carrying freight. Only the operator and persons necessary for unloading and loading freight were permitted to ride. The elevator was maintained and operated under a valid elevator permit issued by the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. It could accommodate 15 people. The codes in effect at the time of its construction did not require the car platform to have a car gate. As such, the car platform was enclosed on three sides with a ceiling, and it was open to a hoistway on its fourth side. The accident occurred when all three people were inside the car platform, ascending from the first floor to the tenth with the second and final load of hangers. According to the elevator operator, Employee #1's coworker, who was standing at the rear of the car, reached out to tickle Employee #1 as they were traveling between the third and fourth floors. This caused Employee #1, who was standing at the front of the car, to take a step to the side in order to turn around and face his coworker. At that instant, Employee #1's left work boot was outside the perimeter of the car platform, and it snagged the header of the third floor landing. Employee #1 shouted out that his foot was caught, and the elevator operator let go of the manual lever to stop the elevator. The car platform, which traveled at 300 feet per minute, did not come to an immediate stop when the 'stop' function was engaged. The elevator traveled approximately another 3 feet until it came to a stop, and Employee #1's left leg was pulled deeper into the space between the platform car and the hoistway wall. The space between the header of the floor landing and the car platform was measured at 3.5 inches. Approximately three feet above the header and located between each floor was a 60-degree bevel on the hoistway wall. The bevel was required by code to provide clearance for the car platform to clear each floor, because the sill of each the floor projected into the hoistway more than the sill of the header. The employee's leg was pulled further between the car platform and the hoistway when it was caught between the bevel and the car platform. The clearance between the bevel and the car platform was measured at 2.7 inches. The elevator operator used the phone in the car platform to contact emergency medical services. Employee #1's leg was crushed. Further, his femoral artery sustained so much damage that he bled out by the time paramedics arrived. He died at the scene.
Keywords: control lever, caught between, crushed, artery, elevator, horseplay, open-sided floor, unguarded, elevator shaft, leg
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 300870920 Fatality Other Freight, stock and material handlers, n.e.c.

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