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Foreman and painter die in 48-foot fall when scaffold collapses, November 15, 1988.

NIOSH 1989 Mar; :1-6
On November 15, 1988, a 53 year old male foreman and a 28 year old male painter died when the scaffold from which they were working collapsed, causing them to fall 48 feet to the ground below. The employer was a painting company with 50 employees. The company has no written safety program and did not have any safety meetings or training specifically addressing fall prevention or fall protection. The company had been hired to paint the outside of several tanks at a petrochemical storage facility. The two workers began painting the tanks from the bucket compartment of an aerial bucket without wearing any type of fall protective equipment. Gaining access to the unpainted side of the tank was not possible from the truck so a two point suspension scaffold was assembled. At the end of the day a truck driver noticed scaffold wreckage and the bodies of the two workers. There were no witnesses, but evidence suggested that the scaffold outriggers had been installed on top of the tank with only 200 pounds of counterweight. Outriggers were not tied off to prevent them from slipping. A lifeline had been tied to a large vent pipe on the top center of the tank on one end, and the other end had been looped around the side of the scaffold guard rail. The outriggers presumably slid off the top edge of the tank and the entire scaffold along with the two workers fell 48 feet to a hard packed gravel surface below. The cause of death for both workers was listed as multiple blunt force trauma.
NIOSH-Author; Region-5; FACE-89-07; Painters; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Personal-protective-equipment; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-Search
Publication Date
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
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Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report No. FACE-89-7, 6 pages