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August 2004
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-156
Cover of NIOSH document 2004-156

Preventing Falls of Workers through Skylights and Roof and Floor Openings

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing injuries and deaths from falls of workers through skylights and roof and floor openings. Recent NIOSH investigations suggest that employers, workers, building owners, skylight designers, and skylight manufacturers may not fully recognize or appreciate the serious fall hazards associated with working near skylights and roof and floor openings. As a result, skylights and roof and floor openings may be left unguarded or uncovered, and workers may be assigned to work around these openings without appropriate fall prevention measures in place.

This Alert describes five deaths resulting from falls through skylights and roof and floor openings. Recommendations are provided to help prevent similar deaths in the future.

The recommendations in this Alert should be followed by (1) all building owners and (2) all employers and workers at worksites that may expose workers to unguarded skylights and roof and floor openings. In addition, skylight designers and manufacturers should contribute to worker safety through improved design and labeling of skylights. NIOSH requests that safety and health professionals, government officials, industry associations, unions, and editors of trade journals bring the recommendations in this Alert to the attention of employers and workers.

Preventing Falls of Workers through Skylights and Roof and Floor Openings [PDF - 2,344 KB]

 
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