Hoist operator injured on construction site

Incident Investigation

Hoist operator injured on construction site

June 7, 2018

Elevating Devices

Reference Number:

II-705475-2018 (7588)

Incident overview

It was reported to Technical Safety BC that a person on a construction elevator had his head entrapped between the construction elevator railing and the fixed supporting beam, resulting in teeth and jaw injuries.

Regulated industry sector

Elevating – Construction elevator



Investigation conclusions

Site, system and components

A construction elevator is a temporary elevator device installed on the exterior of the building under construction. Construction elevators transport material and people up and down the building as its being constructed. The construction elevator has an access hatch that allows a person to access the top of the elevator car. The top of the elevator car has a metal railing around the perimeter of the car to protect workers while performing work on top of the car. The elevator structure is affixed to the building by means of horizontal braces, called mast braces.

Failure scenario(s)

A hoist operator, who was untrained to access restricted areas, accessed a restricted area of the elevator (top of the construction elevator car). The person positioned their head above the handrail, and a mechanic in a car below activated the controls and moved the car, causing the back of the head of the person to strike the stationary member (mast brace), which forced his jaw and teeth into the hand railing of the construction elevator.

Facts and evidence

Based on interviews with mechanics that were on site at the time of the incident:

  • The hoist operator was on the roof of the hoist during servicing to provide radio communication to the crane operator and first aid attendant if needed.
  • Mechanic in training (MIT) was going to move hoist in the up direction.  Before moving the hoist, the MIT made sure the area was clear of hazards and proceeded to move the hoist.
  • MIT was being properly supervised and took all proper safety precautions.
  • While the MIT was moving the hoist he heard a scream to stop which he did immediately.
  • After stopping the hoist it was found that the hoist operator had moved into a pinch point between a mast brace and a handrail.

Causes and contributing factors

It’s highly likely that the incident occurred because an unauthorized personnel (hoist operator) accessed the top of a construction elevator while regulated work was being performed.

It is highly likely that a contributing factor was that the unauthorized personnel (hoist operator) was not aware of the hazards associated with being on top of a construction elevator while in motion.


  • Injury
    • Qty injuries: 1
    • Injury description: Teeth and jaw injuries
    • Injury rating: Moderate


  • Damage description: N/A
  • Damage rating: None

Incident rating



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