Employee unhooked safety lanyard before fall, report finds

Jan. 08, 2013 @ 05:01 PM

The man who took a 30-foot fall in last year's industrial accident unhooked safety equipment and attempted to free climb scaffolding, according to a North Carolina Department of Labor report.

On August 9, 2012, Xavier Murrillo Garcia, 29, who was an employee of Allied Concrete Forming of Concord, fell while working on a pump station on Stafford Street Extension in Monroe.

Garcia was later air lifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for medical treatment. The accident prompted an investigation by the N.C. Department of Labor.

According to the report, Garcia had finished moving two scaffold brackets when he unhooked his safety lanyard from the tie-off points. Then he released the work positioning clips to allow him reposition at the top of the wall to stabilize a bracket.

Garcia began climbing between loose scaffold boards. When he tried to climb onto an unsupported scaffold board, he lost his footing and fell. He landed in a pit, fracturing his pelvis and arm. The work crew used a crane to lift Garcia from the pit.

Allied Concrete Forming was a subcontractor working at the site at the time of the incident. The company was not cited or fined, NCDOL statistical research assistant Chanel Brown said.

According to the report, the situation on Aug. 9, 2012 was dangerous only for a short time when the hooks were released and Garcia free-climbed to the next level. The accident happened outside the company's managers presence and there was no evidence of actual knowledge of the hazardous condition.

The company had a 100 percent fall protection policy at the time, providing evidence that its employees were trained in climbing safety and were disciplined when ignoring rules. As a result of the NCDOL findings, no citation was recommended in the case.

Calls to Allied Concrete Forming were not returned.