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Worker crushed by tailgate when lifting lug broke off

Date of incident: February 2015
Notice of incident number: 2015161770077
Employer: Manufacturer of farm equipment

Incident summary
A worker at a welding and farm equipment manufacturing facility was refitting a 1200-pound tailgate to gain clearance for a vertical auger manure spreader attachment. The worker connected a 7-ton capacity gantry crane to a lifting lug (D-ring) on the tailgate. He was operating the crane from inside the forage box. The top of the tailgate moved in an arc, changing the lifting force away from vertical toward horizontal. The lifting lug broke from the tailgate and the tailgate fell, crushing the worker and causing fatal injuries.

Investigation conclusions

  • Side loading by a crane: The lifting lug on the tailgate of the forage box failed due to side loading while being lifted by a crane. A worker was under the elevated load when the weld failed and the tailgate fell. The worker received fatal injuries.

Underlying factors

  • Unsafe work procedures: The load line above the load hook of the crane was not kept vertical. There was inadequate weld to withstand the lateral forces that were applied to the lifting lug. The side loading on the lifting lug caused a failure of the weld that connected the lifting lug to the tailgate. Machinery and equipment were not used in a manner that ensured the safety of workers.
  • Inadequate supervision and training: The employer did not provide adequate supervision, instruction, training, and information to ensure the safety of workers when working with cranes or welding.

Request the full report

Publication Date: Jan 2018 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2015161770077