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Carpenter dies in 14-foot fall from roof in South Carolina, August 17, 1988.

NIOSH 1988 Nov; :1-5
The case of a carpenter who died as the result of head injuries sustained in a 14 foot fall from a garage roof was examined. The victim was one of 5 carpenters employed by a general contractor who had been in operation only 11 months. No written safety policy or safety program was provided by the contractor nor was there any safety training offered to employees. The company was hired to frame and finish the exterior of single dwellings in a new housing development. The victim and a coworker were applying the 4 foot wide by 8 foot long pieces of sheeting to the roof of the garage portion of the dwelling. The victim prepared to cut a 6 inch overhang off the front of the garage roof. He lowered a rope to the ground where a second coworker attached a circular saw. The victim pulled the saw up to the roof and called to the second coworker to throw him an extension cord. He caught the cord but, as he began to unwind and lower it back to be plugged in, he lost his balance. He fell through the roof but was able to grasp the toe board at the edge of the roof. His coworker tried to pull him back but their hands and arms were wet with perspiration. He fell through the open front of the dwelling, struck a rafter which caused his body to turn 180 degrees, and he landed head first on the concrete garage floor. He was declared brain dead the next day and died 4 hours later due to multiple cerebral contusions. It is recommended that employees be provided with fall protection devices; employers should ensure the use of these devices at the job. Types of equipment which could have been used include lifelines, safety belts, lanyards, standard guardrails, safety nets, and catch platforms.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-43; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Work-practices; Head-injuries; Roofers; Construction-Search
Publication Date
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Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
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Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
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Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report No. FACE-88-43, 5 pages