Construction laborer fell from ladder

Iowa Case Report: 10IA054
Report Date: October 10, 2012

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


A 46-year-old employee of a small Amish-owned construction business was fatally injured when he fell from a ladder onto a concrete block foundation retaining wall. The victim worked as a driver and helper for his employer. On the afternoon of the incident, the three-man crew of the construction business was removing shingles to re-roof a private recreation facility. At the end of the work day, the victim carried a tarp up an extension ladder to the roof so the owner could cover the roof in anticipation of impending rain. The victim fell an estimated 10 to 12 feet to the foundation retaining wall located to the left of the ladder. The fall was not witnessed. A stabilizer bar attached to the ladder had come apart from the ladder, and a nylon tie-down strap used to secure the stabilizer bar to the roof had broken when the ladder slid sideways.

The owner of the business heard the victim fall and called 911. Local EMS responders arrived to find the victim unconscious with multiple blunt force injuries to the head, neck, torso, thorax, and abdomen. The victim was transported to a hospital approximately 30 miles away and died 4 hours later.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015