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Carpenter Died From Extension Ladder Fall

Michigan Case Report: 10MI137

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.


In the fall of 2010, a male carpenter in his 50’s who worked for a home restoration company died when he fell an estimated 13 feet (exact height unknown) onto a concrete driveway from a 20foot aluminum extension ladder. The decedent was performing window repairs at a residence. The decedent used a neighbor’s 20-foot aluminum extension ladder rather than the company-issued 28-foot fiberglass ladder located on the work truck. Two lines from a nearby utility pole entered the home at this location. One of the two lines was a cable TV line and the second line was thought to be a phone line but this could not be confirmed. He placed the ladder against the outside of the home under the entering lines to reach a second story window located 19 feet 7 inches above the ground. The ladder was extended to its working height of 17 feet and positioned 4 feet 6 inches from the wall. The ladder was rated for a 200 pound individual; the decedent weighed 231 pounds. The lines were located between the decedent and the ladder. The decedent had an unwitnessed fall. The decedent lived directly next door to the jobsite and was scheduled to have computer work done at his home on the day of the incident. When the computer repair person arrived and did not find the deceased at home, he called his cell phone. The repairman heard the decedent’s cell phone ringing. He followed the sound to the incident location and found the decedent on the driveway. He called for emergency response. The ladder was propped against the home and an unidentified line had been disconnected from the home (Drawing 1). The decedent was declared dead at the scene.

Carpenter Died From Extension Ladder Fall [PDF 213 KB]