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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202587663 - Employee Crushes Chest In Elevator Accident

Accident: 202587663 -- Report ID: 0950614 -- Event Date: 04/14/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31531780004/16/20127011Msr Hospitality Systems, Inc Dba Claremont Hotel
At 3:14 p.m. on April 14, 2012, Employee #1 was crushed by an elevator at the Claremont Hotel, a 22-acre resort with a hotel, club, and spa. Employee #1 is a 49-year old male who has worked for the employer since April 19, 2004. On April 14, around 2:30 p.m., a guest in Room Number 801 dropped their keys down the middle of three elevator shafts. The guest notified the hotel staff and requested their help in getting the keys. Employee #2, the engineer on duty during this time, was nearing the end of his shift at 3:00 p.m. According to Employee #1, Employee #2 looked into the elevator shaft with a flashlight, but was not able to see the keys. Employee #1 stated that Employee #2 suggested that Employee #1 should remove the sheet rock behind the elevator to try to help get the keys. Employee #2 states that he told Employee #1 to call the elevator company to help get the keys. At approximately 3:10 p.m., Employee #1 entered an access area behind the elevator shafts and used a pry bar to remove two wooden cleats that were holding a piece of sheetrock in place on the rear of one of the elevators. Behind this sheetrock there is a gap, then a large sheet metal barrier which separates the counterweight movement area from the elevator movement area. Employee #1 thought that the elevator would not come down in this gap (where the counterweight moves). Employee #1 decided to place his head in into this gap "for a quick look-see". Employee #1 thought that the he was in a "little safety zone" and the counterweight would come down on the other side. Employee #1 noted that the elevator was at one of the upper floors. Employee #1 did not lockout the elevator. While he was in this gap, shining his light on the elevator pit floor, the counterweight struck him. Employee #1 yelled help four or five times before he was able to extricate himself from the elevator shaft and out of the access area behind the elevator. Medical attention was contacted and responded promptly. There were no witnesses to the accident. Security camera video shows Employee #1 entering and exiting the access area alone. A pry bar was located next to the wooden cleats and sheetrock. The sheetrock was presumably covering the access to the elevator pit area. On April 18, 2012 an inspection of the elevator was performed. There were no noted deficiencies found during the inspection. Employee #1 entered into the danger zone of the elevator's counterweight without first locking out the elevator. Employee #1 was struck by the counterweight of the elevator and sustained serious injuries resulting in hospitalization for greater than 24 hours. The employer did not provide training on how to properly lockout the elevator. The employer did not have a specific plan to address recovery of items dropped into the elevator. Employee #1's injuries included nine broken ribs, a broken left arm, and a punctured lung. As of early August 2012, he was still undergoing rehabilitation for his injuries.
Keywords: fracture, lung, counterbalance, rib, struck by, arm, elevator, hotel, pry bar, puncture
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315317800 Hospitalized injury Fracture Stationary engineers

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