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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202717799 - Worker Is Struck By Falling Object And Dies

Accident: 202717799 -- Report ID: 0352440 -- Event Date: 01/24/2014
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31746577101/24/20141711Hector Avelar Dba G P S Plumbing
On January 24, 2014, Employee #1, employed by G.P.S. Plumbing, was working at a single family residence. He was in his assigned work area, a trench measuring 4 feet 6 inches deep, and was in the process of drilling a hole in the foundation wall of the house so his employer, who had been subcontracted by the General Contractor, could connect plumbing pipe to the main water/sewer line. A 30-foot high pump jack scaffold was located directly above the trench. An unidentified object struck Employee #1 in the head. Emergency services were called at 12:14 p.m. on January 24, 2014, and the Montgomery County (Maryland) Fire and Rescue Department responded with a fire engine, a medic vehicle, and a rescue squad vehicle. Employee #1 was transported to the hospital, where he died from head injuries. This event was reported to Maryland OSHA (MOSH) by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department. When the MOSH investigator arrived at the scene, it was determined that the injured worker had been transported to the hospital. Several contractors had packed their possessions and abandoned the job site. After obtaining opening conference information from the General Contractor, the investigator determined that this was Employee #1's first day on this job site. Employee #1 was a subcontracted employee, employed by the plumbing contractor. According to the General Contractor, Employee #1 was not wearing a hard hat when he was struck in the head by an unknown object. Employee #1's employer was not on the job site and was not able to be contacted on the day of inspection. Subsequently, the MOSH investigator did make contact with and interviewed the owner of G.P.S. Plumbing. The employer stated that the fatally injured worker had been the owner's son-in-law, who did not regularly work for the company but had recently asked for work because he was unemployed due to winter weather. The employer provided a detailed account, stating he had instructed Employee #1 on the task that needed to be performed. According to the employer, because of unusual circumstances of weather and time, the employer was not able to ensure that Employee #1 had been trained to recognize hazards associated with work being performed. The employer further stated that he had not been able to do a workplace hazard assessment to ensure the workplace was free from recognized plain-view hazards.
Keywords: fracture, head, drill operator, construction, pump jack scaffold, trench, pipe, struck by, falling object, untrained
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling New project or new addition $250,000 to $500,000 3 40 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 317465771 Fatality Fracture Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Installing plumbing, lighting fixtures
FatCause: Struck by falling object/projectile

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