Employee #1 and Employee #2, both pile drivers, were working in a storage yard separating two interlocked sheet pilings, 33- and 23-feet long respectively. The procedure was to anchor one end to a horizontal pile of sheeting with a chain sling connected to a hole at one end of the 23-foot piece. The other end was to be attached by a chain sling hook through a hole at the opposite end of the 33-foot piece, with the master link attached to the load line of a truck crane using a bolt type shackle. The crane operator then lifted the assembly into a vertical position and applied a hoisting force to the anchored system to separate the two pieces. After several tries the unlatched chain sling hook at the top end of the piling disengaged, causing the unsupported piling to fall and strike Employee #1. He suffered serious head and body injuries and died. Employee #1 was wearing head protection, but the piling weighed approximately 2,432 pounds.
What went wrong
A pile shackle or other positive attachment should have been used. The employer should also develop safe procedures and keep employees at a safe distance