Employee #1 and coworkers were using a crane to move liquefied oxygen containers in preparation for cutting up a barge for scrap. The main hoist line was being held with slings and the auxiliary or whip line, which was not in use, was equipped with an 18-inch headache ball.
When the operator boomed down, the headache ball contacted the boom tip and the lifting line separated, causing a two-block condition. The 1-1/8-inch wire rope whip line broke and the ball fell 50 feet from the tip of the boom. It struck Employee #1, killing him instantly.
Republished from Marine Construction Magazine Issue II, 2022