OSHA Investigating after Heavy Equipment falls on Workers

Two workers at the Good Samaritan hospital in Downers Grove were injured last week when a 3,000 pound piece of equipment fell on them. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating what caused the equipment to fall. One of the workers was treated and released and the other remains in fair condition at the hospital, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

The area director for OSHA did not yet have a timeline for the investigation but said that an investigator was on the scene the day after the incident. She also indicated that investigations are usually resolved in less than six months.

Although it is not yet known what caused the equipment to fall on the workers, the spokeswoman for Good Samaritan hospital maintains that they will implement any recommendations that OSHA makes.

The accident occurred on Wednesday in a narrow corridor in the hospital. The article reports that both men were authorized to be in the area at the time of the accident and were performing duties related to their employment. Earlier reports indicate that the air conditioning coils that fell on the men had pinned them both against a wall. One of the men was able to wriggle free and call for help. It took the rescue crew about an hour to free the other man.

The area Director for OSHA noted that Good Samaritan hospital has two previous OSHA violations. The first, in 1993, involved the failure to provide protective respirators to workers exposed to patients with tuberculosis. The second was in 2002 and involved a blocked door or walkway.

Source: Chicago Tribune, OSHA Investigating Accident at Good Samaritan, January 23, 2011

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