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FACEValue: Company owner crushed to death by block wall


Case report: #15WA02901
Issued by: Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: July 2016

On the day of the incident, the owner of a bark and wood company and three other employees were assembling a bunker using concrete ecology blocks that were lifted and moved into place using an excavator. As the excavator operator was lowering the first block into place for a new section, the original walls began to collapse. The victim and the two employees ran to avoid the falling blocks. At some point, the victim hesitated and turned back. He was struck by a falling block, which crushed his right leg and pinned him to the ground. First responders arrived within minutes and transported the victim to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition for nearly a month before dying.

To prevent future occurrences:

  • Plan and design bulk material storage areas for safety and stability. Make sure all walls are built on a stable foundation that is able to support the weight of the structure.
  • Develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive written safety program that is tailored to ecology block wall construction. Create standard operating procedures that address hazards in both construction of and working near ecology block walls. Ensure all employees are trained on and follow the procedures.
  • Conduct a thorough job hazard analysis before construction begins on any project involving stacked ecology blocks.
  • Encourage employees to recognize and report safety concerns, and train workers on the protocol for reporting hazards.

To download the full report, go to

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