A 56-year-old man was fatally injured when he was struck by and buried underneath a 4,000-pound bag of sand. On the day of the accident, the victim was trying to patch a hole in a large bag of sand, called super-sacks. The sand was “tap hole” sand, used in an electric arc furnace during the molten metal pouring process.
The super-sacks were stored shrink wrapped onto pallets, and stacked two pallets high. As the victim was patching the hole at ground level, the sand in the bag shifted, making the second tier of super-sacks unstable. The 4,000-pound super-sack stored on top, fell and struck the victim before burying him underneath and killing him.
Investigators found the super-sacks were double stacked and not stacked in a way that would prevent sliding and collapse.
The sacks were not stacked, blocked, interlocked or limited in height, leaving them unstable and unsecured and creating an unstable condition which exposed employees to a dangerous, and ultimately deadly, hazard.