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Roofing laborer dies after 60-foot fall.

NIOSH 2004 May; :1-6
At 8:00 AM on the morning of October 7, 2003, a 33-year-old roofing laborer, was discarding his first bag of debris off a commercial building's roof when he slipped and fell 60 feet to the sidewalk below. There were 2 other laborers and the contractor at the work site that morning. It was the second work day at this particular job site and the three were to finish removing bags of debris from the roof as they had done the day before. The decedent and one of the laborers accessed the roof through the building, up stairs and various ladders to a five-step step-ladder which led to the roof opening. A safety harness and a safety belt, each with attached lanyards clipped to roof anchors, were located inside the roof access. Before entering the roof area, each laborer was to wear a personal fall protection system. After putting on the safety equipment, the laborers could then access the roof safely. It was suspected that there was dew on the roof. It is unknown and if either man was wearing anti-skid shoes or gloves. A third laborer was sitting in the cab of the pick-up truck parked on the sidewalk parallel to the building. The contractor was standing on the sidewalk by the truck waiting for the two laborers on the roof to throw down bags of debris into the bed of the pick-up truck. As the laborers approached the roof access, Laborer No. 1 dressed in the safety harness and accessed the roof. Laborer No. 2, the decedent, accessed the roof without dressing in the safety belt. Laborer No. 1 did not see Laborer No. 2 climb past the safety belt without putting it on and access the roof. Without it, Laborer No. 2 grabbed a bag of trash and began walking toward the edge of the roof when he slipped and fell 60 feet to the sidewalk below. Laborer No. 1 did not see Laborer No. 2 fall, but heard him falling off the roof. After the laborer fell, the owner and other laborer on the ground went to him, assessed the situation and called emergency services who arrived on the scene within minutes. Several people observed the laborer fall from the roof. One witness also called emergency services. Emergency personnel arrived and contacted the coroner who declared the victim dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Employers should have a written safety policy outlining safety practices, procedures and which state the consequences of not following the company policies. 2. Employers should provide appropriate personal safety equipment and training on the proper use of that equipment. 3. A competent person should conduct a hazard assessment of the job site prior to commencement of work. Control of the identified hazards and safe work procedures should be discussed. 4. Employers should have a site specific fall protection plan written by a qualified person.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Region-4; Roofers; Roofing-industry; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Author Keywords: Body belt; Fall; Personal fall arrest system; Roof
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-03KY097; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-409879
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Kentucky Department of Health Services