On April 13, 2005, a 40-year-old male laborer was moving a 5-feet by 9-inch coil of slitted steel, weighing 6600 pounds, when it fell on him. The laborer was in the process of wrapping a chain through the middle of the coil and through a homemade device on the forks of a forklift when the coil tipped over. As the laborer tried to move away from the falling coil, it landed on his left side, breaking his left leg and causing internal injuries. Other workers in the area did not see, but heard the commotion of the falling coil. The plant manager and other workers rushed to aid the laborer who was conscious. They tried to lift the coil of steel off the laborer’s leg, but could not. While one of the workers called emergency services, another used a forklift to remove the coil from the laborer’s legs. Cognizant and using a cell phone, the laborer spoke to his wife while he was waiting for emergency management service personnel to arrive. Emergency personnel arrived and he told them that he was hurting and to get him to a hospital. The laborer was taken by ambulance to the closest hospital in a neighboring state where he died that same day from internal injuries.

To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:

Recommendation No. 1: Employers should provide workers with a safe work environment.

Recommendation No. 2: Equipment should only be modified with the manufacturer’s approval.

Recommendation No. 3: Coils should be kept from rolling or falling by use of chocking materials.

Recommendation No. 4: An alternative system to transport coils could be implemented.

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A summary of this case is available as the additional file listed below.

05KY015.pdf (16 kB)
Case summary