Worker dies after MRI machine falls at University of Utah Hospital

Another worker was injured when the machine fell as it was being relocated.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Alison Flynn Gaffney announces a fatal accident that took place at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.

A worker was killed Wednesday when an MRI machine fell to the ground outside University of Utah Hospital, officials said in a news conference.

Workers were moving the medical imaging machine from the fourth floor to the first floor of the hospital around 11 a.m. when it fell near a loading dock on the west side of the building, just north of the School of Medicine.

The hospital stated in a news release that the worker killed was not a hospital employee and had been part of a team contracted to move the device.

The worker fell alongside the machine. He was taken to the hospital’s emergency department, where he died. Another contracted worker suffered a minor injury.

A Salt Lake City Fire Department hazmat crew responded to the scene but had cleared the area by about 2 p.m. The Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division is investigating, an official with the Utah Labor Commission said.

“This was meant to be a milestone occasion for our team, and something that has been in the works for several years,” Alison Flynn Gaffney, executive director of University of Utah Health support services, said in a statement. “We are incredibly saddened to learn that someone tragically died in this incident and our hearts go out to the family.”

Flynn Gaffney said the hospital will work with all parties involved “to understand what happened and identify the root cause” of the fall.

“Our hearts, prayers and thoughts go with the family,” Flynn Gaffney said.