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Demolition Laborer Dies in Fall Through Skylight—Kentucky

Kentucky Case Report: 22ky046
Release Date: June 07, 2023

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 May 24, 2022, a 44-year-old Hispanic demolition laborer suffered a fatal fall while working on the roof of a building that was undergoing demolition. The employee was walking backwards when he stepped onto a skylight in the roof and fell through it, falling approximately 19 feet to a concrete floor below.

Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include:

  • Working at height
  • Exposure to falls through skylights
  • Multi-employer worksites
  • Lack of understanding of workplace hazards and control methods
  • Lack of safety training and communication

Kentucky FACE investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Properly assess the assigned work for recognized hazards (e.g., job safety analysis, job hazard analysis, pre-task plan, etc.)
  • Provide appropriate fall arrest systems for employees working at height, including working around skylights, with a fall distance of 6 feet or more (e.g., guardrail system, covers, personal fall arrest system).
  • Consider prevention through design to “design out” or minimize hazards and risk.
  • Train employees on how to recognize fall hazards associated with the work being performed and the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards
  • Provide training in a language that workers can understand.
  • Ensure that employers understand their responsibilities for the safety and health of their employees working on multi-employer worksites.

Demolition Laborer Dies in Fall Through Skylight—Kentucky [PDF – 933KB]