A Metal Fabrication and Finishing Foreman Dies After 25 Foot Fall at a Commercial Building Site

Kentucky Case Report: 13KY042
Release Date: February, 2014

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.


On a fall Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 pm, a 53-year-old male fabrication and finishing foreman was installing sheets of insulation prior to decking on a commercial building. The foreman was standing at the edge of the decking on roof beams, arguing with an excavation contractor about the movement of his loader to complete grading work. Witnesses say the foreman was distracted when he told the other workers to spread the “itchy” (meaning rolls of fiberglass insulation). When the foreman took a step forward as he usually did, he fell off the edge and died of head and neck injuries.

To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:

  • Recommendation No. 1: Employers should always ensure employees have access to tie off when working in high areas allowing employees to remain tied off at all times.
  • Recommendation No. 2: General Contractors should coordinate and stagger various subcontractors’ work to prevent creation of additional hazards, conflict and obstructions
  • Recommendation No. 3: Employers should be sure safety training is given to each new hire prior to working.
  • Recommendation No. 4: Employers should implement and enforce a written safety policy which states the consequences of not following their personal fall arrest policy.
  • Recommendation No. 5: General contractors should ensure through contract language that all subcontractors implement and enforce appropriate safety and health programs and training specific to the work to be performed.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015