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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 894691 - Employee Killed In Fall From Tv Tower

Accident: 894691 -- Report ID: 0355111 -- Event Date: 07/25/1989
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10572916407/25/19891799S G Communications Inc.
At approximately 3:15 p.m. on July 25, 1989, Employee #1 was replacing a base-mounted drum hoist, which was being used to hoist a personnel basket with a smaller hoist. Employee #1 had reeved the 3/8 in. cable from the yellow hoist to a sheave wheel at the southwest leg of a TV tower, then to a sheave wheel installed at the west side of the tower to allow the cables to deflect away from a chain link fence. The 3/8 in. cable was then run to a sheave wheel attached to a 3/4 in. diameter by 5 ft 6 in. long anchor rod. Employee #1 then carried the cable by a personnel basket to the overhead sheave wheel. After reaching the top, Employee #1 connected the 3/8 in. cable to the top of the personnel basket and then disconnected the 1/ 2 in. cable attached to the orange hoist that was being replaced. Because Employee #1 had run only one cable (the 3/8 in. load line), he had to use the 3/8 in. cable as a tag line as well as a load line. After Employee #1 had exchanged the hoists, he failed to load-test the basket and new rigging system he had just installed. The company had been cited for this violation during an earlier inspection. In using the load line as a tag line, more pressure was applied to the anchor rod as the basket descended. The rod had been installed in what appeared to be backfilled soil 95 ft west of the tower. The anchor rod was not installed at an angle between 30 to 50 degrees, according to manufacturer's recommendations. At approximately 300 to 400 ft above the ground, the anchor rod pulled out of the ground, causing the 3/8 in. cable to become slack. The personnel basket free-fell for 150 to 200 ft. The basket came to a stop when the slack ran out. The cable, under stress of approximately 1,300 lb, broke in two. The basket fell, struck one of the horizontal members approximately 100 ft above the ground, glanced off, and fell to the asphalt. Employee #1 was killed.
Keywords: anchor, rigging, communication tower, hoisting mechanism, work rules, broken cable, construction, equipment failure, fall
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 105729164 Fatality Concussion Supervisors, n.e.c.

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