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Disregarding manufacturer’s instructions can be deadly, Oregon FACE warns

February 18, 2016

Portland, OR – A hazard alert from the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program emphasizes the importance of abiding by the manufacturer’s instructions for construction equipment and building materials.

The alert details three cases in which safety instructions were not followed and deaths occurred. In the first case, a crane operator died after a 35-foot H-beam fell from a clamp and smashed the crane cab. According to the alert, the crew was unaware that the manufacturer’s instructions cautioned that clamp failure can occur “if the hydraulic clamp cylinder was not bled of entrained air.” Manual instructions stated that a shackle and short line must be connected to the hole in the pile clamp housing, and the shackle must be adhered to the lifting hole in the pile.

In the second case, flying rigging of a towline struck and killed a pipelayer at an excavation site. A latched hook had replaced the closed lifting eye, but the manufacturer’s instructions stated that couplers and components should not be changed, according to the alert.

In the last case, a carpenter foreman died after a roof truss system collapsed. Aspects of the Structural Building Components Association, BCSI-B1 Summary Sheet Guide to Handling, Installing, Restraining and Bracing of Trusses were not followed before and during truss installation, the alert states. The guide has specifications for bracing during installation.

OR-FACE urges work crews and supervisors to follow manufacturer’s instructions during training and before operations.