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Window mechanic dies in 250-foot fall, August 17, 1989.

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 89-49, 1990 Jan; :1-5
A 30 year old male window mechanic died when he fell 250 feet through a window opening while attempting to replace the window. The victim was self employed. He had worked in the glass business for several years prior to going into business for himself approximately 4.5 years ago. The victim and his one employee had gone to a 21 story office building to replace a damaged window on the twenty first floor. To replace the broken window the victim first had to loosen and remove the bolts which secured the window frame to the structure and then remove the existing inner pane and frame from the opening. In order to reach the bolts at the top of the frame the victim placed a 3 foot high wooden stepladder next to the window. Standing on the second step of this ladder, he attempted to loosen one of the bolts by striking the bolt with a hammer held in his right hand. He missed the bolt and struck the window pane. The window shattered under the impact and the victim and the ladder on which he was standing fell sideways through the window opening to the brick courtyard 250 feet below. It is recommended that fall protection options be considered and selected whenever the potential for serious or fatal falls exist, and that work near a known damaged window be accomplished from the side rather than from directly in front of the window whenever possible.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-89-49; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Work-practices; Safety-research; Maintenance-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