A boat winch operator was fatally injured when the anchor bolts of a ten ton boat winch pulled out of the concrete mounting pad pinning him against an adjacent building as he was attempting to launch a boat.
Rapperport Associates was engaged to determine what caused the anchor bolts to rip out of their base. Most of the evidence had been disposed of by the time we had an opportunity to view the site so the pre-accident environment was reconstructed from post-accident OSHA photographs.
It was discovered that a safety chain was inadvertently left connected during launch which resulted in high winch loads but further investigation revealed that there were several serious deficiencies with regard to the anchor bolt placement. Had the winch anchoring system been properly designed and constructed, the anchor bolts would have withstood the cable forces and prevented the winch from coming lose and killing the operator.