Richmond Times-Dispatch - August 14, 2009
A worker disassembling a boom from a crane Wednesday apparently removed the pins holding it in place in the wrong order, causing the boom to fall and crush him, Chesterfield County police said yesterday.
Ronald R. Well, 46, of the 2700 block of Goolsby Avenue, was killed instantly. It was his first day on the job, said Chesterfield police Capt. Terry Patterson.
The accident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. at Harbor Dredge & Dock, a small marine contractor, barge and crane service company at 1300 Willis Road.
"According to the crane operator, there's a protocol for disassembling this boom," Patterson said. The process involves removing a series of pins that must be detached in a certain order.
"And what we found is that he . . . removed the pins that support this boom in the improper order."
Police are investigating whether there was any criminal conduct involved in the death. The accident is also being investigated for workplace protocols by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
This news article illustrates how fatal disassembling can be. Whether you have a formal checklist or not, before tackling something unusually, take two and think about the task and ensure you have the proper knowledge, tools and safety equipment to accomplish it.