January 06, 2006

Raise a Glass

Looks like it was a gentleman by the name of Sammy Williams who lost his life yesterday. Here's some more detail's (From the Nashville Tennessean):

Davidson County briefs: Elevator accident kills one, hurts one

An accident in an elevator shaft of a Nashville office building yesterday killed one maintenance worker and injured another.

Authorities said Sammy Williams, 53, of Fairview was killed when the elevator he was working under fell on him about 10 a.m.

Another worker, Rodney Gentry, 36, of White House was injured.

The accident occurred at the three-story Bank of New York building at 420 Woodfolk Ave.

Emergency crews found the two workers trapped under the elevator, which was resting three or four feet above the floor of the shaft, Nashville Fire Department spokesman Charles Shannon said.

According to Metro police, the elevator car was secured by a chain at the third floor while the two men worked below. Police said Williams was entering the shaft on a ladder when the chain broke. Police believe the elevator hit him in the head as it fell. Gentry was in the shaft when the chain broke.

He was in stable condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center yesterday afternoon, a hospital spokesman said. Gentry, who suffered leg and arm injuries, was conscious and talking when emergency workers found him, Shannon said.

The elevator was one of two in the lobby that share a common shaft. Shannon said emergency workers disconnected power to the other elevator, braced it and climbed into the shaft underneath it to tend to the two men.

The maintenance men worked with Nashville Machine Elevator Co., a firm that maintains the elevators.


At least this gives me a little more info on the situation. I found out it was Sammy this morning, as the boss had already heard about it. Sammy's brother owns a company that compete's with ours in the Knoxville, TN area. I feel for him, and the rest of his family.

I'm still not sure why they had to hang the car up that high, but they obviously used a chain that was not rated to carry the load, or was too old. Another mistake that was made is they didn't have redundant rigging. There should have been something else that was holding the car up there...Rail chocks, towing straps, something. Chains are notorious for the fact that they give you no warning that they are about to snap. One second, solid as a rock, the next, crash! Sammy'd been in this business for twenty year's or so, and he knew that. It appears that he got complacent, and this is a fine example of how complacency can get you killed.

Despite all that, he was a brother tradesman. We are a small (unsung) community, we elevator men. As far as I'm concerned, every one of them deserves respect. "Fast ride" brother, and may it stop at the top.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at January 6, 2006 05:54 PM | TrackBack

*raises glass*

To Sammy

Posted by: Harvey at January 12, 2006 11:38 AM
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