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For Immediate Release May 23, 2002
Media Contact: Jim Giusti   (803) 725-2889


NNSA Release Accident Investigation Report On
TEF Construction Worker Accident

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Aiken, SC - The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Savannah River Site Office (SRSO) today issued its Accident Investigation Board's findings on the cause of an accident at the Tritium Extraction Facility (TEF) construction site in which one worker was injured.

On April 2, 2002, at the Savannah River Site, a carpenter helping to erect shoring/scaffolding fell about 52 inches and struck his head at the TEF construction site. He sustained head injuries requiring hospitalization and triggering a Department of Energy accident investigation. The injured worker has been released from the hospital and is in rehabilitation at a Georgia facility

The direct cause of the fall was the carpenter's loss of his grip on the shoring/scaffolding structure he was climbing. The Department's accident investigation found no conclusive contributing factors that, if modified or eliminated by practical means, would have prevented the accident.

The Accident Investigation Board (Board) concluded that:

  • All workers were experienced in the work to be performed, were familiar with the hazards involved and were using the appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Appropriate standards and instructions for the work were used.
  • A qualified safety staff was involved on a daily basis with the work.

During the course of the investigation, the Board noted some areas for improvement but none of these were judged to be of such potential benefit to prevent the accident. The investigation also found no Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) deficiencies and concluded that the accident was an inadvertent slip.

Copies of the NNSA's accident report can be obtained through the mail by calling (803) 725-2889.




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