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Sheetmetal helper falls to his death through a skylight opening in South Carolina, January 6, 1988.

Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 88-18, 1988 Jul; :1-5
The case of an 18 year old male sheetmetal helper who died after falling 33 feet through a skylight opening to a concrete floor was examined. The victim was employed for 3 months as a sheetmetal helper by a small roofing/sheetmetal company. Employees received on the job training for assigned tasks and the supervisor reviewed safety procedures to be followed before the start of each day's work. No written safety procedures existed. The victim was working as a member of a five man crew assigned to replace corrugated metal roof sheeting and to install sections of chain link fence material on top of about 24 white fiberglass panels used as skylights. The fencing material was being installed to guard against the fall hazard presented by the fiberglass skylights. No fall protection guards of any type were present around the skylights. The crew, while awaiting instructions, left the work area and went to a vent stack that was emitting heat to warm themselves. The victim stepped on an unguarded fiberglass panel and fell 33 feet to his death. Cause of death was listed as multiple traumatic injuries. A guardrail or adequate covering as required could have prevented this accident. Worker safety should be considered and addressed in the planning phase of construction projects. In this instance, poor planning and lack of concern for safety was demonstrated by allowing employees to work on the roof of a building without adequate guarding and/or fall protection.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-18; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Work-practices; Safety-research; Construction-workers; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-Search
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division