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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202554929 - Worker Fractures Hip In Fall When Strap Fitting Comes Loose

Accident: 202554929 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 05/30/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31552817406/19/20129224Orange County Fire Authority
At approximately 12:10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, Employee #1 was working as a senior fleet services technician for a county fire authority. He repaired heavy equipment, and he had been employed with this entity since 2006. On the day of the incident, had started his work shift at 10:30 p.m. He was moving tires from one fire truck to use on a relief fire truck, a process that is done at least monthly to ensure good tire rotation. He had loaded all four tires from fire truck T71 onto the bed of a utility truck in order to transfer the tires to the other fire truck. The utility truck was a pickup truck that had been modified with two "E-rails" or "E-tracks" at each side for securing winch straps. It also had a control to raise and lower the "Tommy Gate" lift gate. Employee #1 was standing on the elevated lift gate, which was approximately 37 inches (1 meter) above the ground. He was pulling on a Lift-All hold-down strap to tighten or cinch it through a cam buckle, when one end of the E-track fitting came loose from the E-track rail in the truck. Employee #1 lost his balance from the sudden release of tension and fell backwards off the elevated lift gate. He landed on his right side and sustained injury to his leg and hip. He sustained a fractured hip that necessitated admission to the hospital for surgery. There were no witnesses to the incident, as his coworkers and supervisor were working in other areas of the fleet maintenance garage. Nonetheless, they responded immediately when they heard Employee #1 call out for help. The strap and rails were designed for 1,000 lbs. (4,448 newtons) working load and 3,000 lbs. (13,345 newtons) ultimate strength. Neither the strap nor rails failed. The employer has since reevaluated the procedure and has replaced the cam buckle-type strap with ratchet-type straps to eliminate the need to pull the strap to tighten it and to prevent a recurrence of this incident.
Keywords: fracture, tailgate, automotive repair, equipment failure, manual mat handling, fall, fire truck, lost balance, hip, tire
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315528174 Hospitalized injury Fracture Heavy equipment mechanics

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