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Ironworker dies following a 25-foot fall through a roof opening, December 14, 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 89-13, 1989 Apr; :1-3
On December 14, 1988, a 41 year old male ironworker died when he fell 25 feet after stepping through a roof opening. The victim had been employed for about 18 years as an ironworker by a small construction firm. The victim was part of an eight person crew finishing the steel erection for a six story building. At the time of the incident, the crew had returned from a break and was going to finish laying the formwork decking in the mechanical area on the roof. When the members of the crew noticed that the victim did not return from break, they began searching for him, finding him, having apparently fallen about 18 feet onto the concrete stairs and then another 7 feet to the floor where he was found lying across a guy wire. He apparently had stepped into a 2 foot square stairway ventilation opening on the roof. The opening had been covered by a piece of decking, which the victim apparently removed for use elsewhere. He died 12 hours later, presumably as a result of traumatic injuries sustained in the fall. Recommendations include protecting all floor and roof openings with standard railing or a floor hole cover secured against displacement, hazard analysis as an ongoing part of each job phase, and cutting the roof openings as the last ironworking activity on the roof.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-89-13; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-Search
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division