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Sheet metal mechanic dies following a 22-foot fall through a roof opening, December 20, 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 89-25, 1989 Apr; :1-6
A 26 year old male sheet metal mechanic died as a result of injuries that occurred when he was knocked through a roof opening and fell 22 feet to a concrete floor below. The employer was a plumbing and heating contractor who has been in business for 22 years. The company employed 15 individuals including six sheet metal mechanics. The employer had no written safety policy or safety program and did not provide safety equipment or training to the workers. At the time of the incident the victim and a coworker were preparing to install a cap over an opening on a flat roof of a large fiberglass manufacturing facility. The cap weighted approximately 75 pounds and was fabricated from galvanized steel to cover a 54 inch square opening created when an air conditioning duct had been removed. The victim positioned himself between the leaning cap and the roof opening, while the coworker positioned himself on the other side of the opening. Neither worker was wearing any type of fall protection equipment. The coworker was kneeling and the victim stooped over applying caulking to the 6 inch raised curb bordering the opening when a gust of wind blew the cap over striking the victim, causing him to fall head first through the roof opening to a concrete floor 22 feet below. It was noted that fall protection equipment should have been used and the employer should design, develop, and implement a comprehensive safety program.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-89-25; Region-3; Roofing-and-sheet-metal-work; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Personal-protective-equipment; Metal-workers; 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