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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 570952 - Employee Killed When Struck By Collapsing Metal Tank Wall

Accident: 570952 -- Report ID: 0524530 -- Event Date: 07/27/1984
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
160583108/01/19841791J P Construction Co
Employee #1 was working on a scaffold inside a used steel storage tank of 200,000 gallon capacity that was being removed for relocation. The employer intended to salvage the lowest and highest rings of the five-ring tank. The center three sections, approximately 24 ft high, were to be scrapped. To expedite the job, the employer decided to remove the center section of the tank in five wall sections of 24 ft by 20 ft by 3/8 in. The tank was stitch cut and the disassembly began. The employer was using a crane operator who had never operated a crane before and had received approximately 1/2 hour of verbal familiarization before beginning the job. After removing three sections of the tank wall, the employer had the crane operator reposition the crane to lift the remaining two sections. The crane was now operating outside of a concrete dike wall and boomed between a second tank and the two remaining tank wall sections. Because of the poor stitch cutting, the employer was forced to remove the section farthest from the crane first; he felt the amount of metal in place to support the tank was less than he desired. He had the crane operator remove this section and, because the crane began to tip, had the piece set down. Once it was stabilized, the crane operator moved the curved wall between the still uncut tank and the last freestanding wall on the tank being cut down. Because of the confined area and additional clearance problems, he had the crane operator move closer to the freestanding wall. The load struck the wall section, causing it to collapse and crush Employee #1 on the scaffold inside the tank. Employee #1 sustained a massive head injury when he was struck in the face with the falling wall section; his head was pinned against the metal tank floor. He died.
Keywords: head, wall, collapse, pinned, work rules, construction, inexperience, crane operator, tank, untrained
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1605831 Fatality Concussion Occupation not reported

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