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FACEValue: Worker struck by crane; falls to death

Case report: #15KY011*
Issued by: Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: Jan. 25, 2015

A maintenance technician was working from an elevated platform and leaned through a railing on the side of an upright I-beam to change a micro switch while an overhead crane system was active. The victim was positioned so that his back was to the crane system. While the victim attempted to change the micro switch, the crane struck the victim’s right hand, causing him to fall 10 feet and land on the conveyor system below. A maintenance technician saw the victim fall and alerted trained in-house medical responders. The responder team assessed the victim while a call was placed for an ambulance. The ambulance arrived and transported the victim to the local hospital. The victim died in transit from multiple blunt force injuries and mechanical asphyxia sustained in a fall from height.

To prevent future occurrences:

  • Employers should ensure their workers are following lockout/tagout policies at all times.
  • Employers should ensure fall protection is worn when working at height on equipment.
  • Employers should ensure all walk areas 4 feet or higher are guarded by railings on all sides.
  • A pre-hazard job analysis should be conducted before beginning work.

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