On July 2, 2007, a 17-year-old female laborer (the victim) fell approximately 26 feet from a residential roof to a stone patio; she died nine days later from her injuries. The victim was working for a construction company replacing a residential roof. The victim unloaded bales of roofing shingles from a construction box that was raised and attached to a forklift. The victim unloaded the bales and placed them on a wooden plank above her on the roof. The victim then sat on the plank and handed the bales to one of the owners of the company and a male laborer. While working on the roof, one of the owners and the male laborer heard a "thud" and looked over at the plank, but did not see the victim. They moved to the edge of the roof and looked down and saw the victim lying face down on a stone patio. The owner and the male laborer climbed down from the roof. While climbing down the owner yelled to the other owner in the yard area to go check on the victim. When the owner got down from the roof he called 911 for help, as the other owner checked the victim. During this time, the victim was lying unconscious and her head was bleeding profusely. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the state police were dispatched to the incident, and the victim was transported via ambulance to an area hospital. At the hospital the victim was stabilized, then airlifted to another hospital where she remained unconscious in critical condition. She died from her injuries nine days later. Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include failure to recognize and control the fall hazard and assignment of a young worker to a prohibited hazardous task. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Know and comply with child labor laws which include prohibitions against work by youths less than 18 years of age in occupations that involve roofing. 2. Ensure that workers are protected against falling while working at an elevation and that fall protection is provided when the potential for falls exist on the worksite. 3. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive occupational safety and health program that includes training workers in hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions. Additionally, 4. Government agencies, school officials, and health and safety organizations should continue their efforts to inform the public and employers about child labor laws. Although the following recommendation may not have prevented this fatality, NIOSH concluded that as a matter of prudent safe operations, employers should: 5. Ensure that personnel platforms used on rough terrain forklifts have the necessary safety features to protect workers. 6. Develop, implement and enforce a buddy system for workers unloading materials onto a roof from a construction box attached to a forklift.
Region-1; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Children; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-clothing; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-practices; Surveillance