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Ironworker dies in Ohio following a 20-foot fall through a skylight opening, January 28, 1991.
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 91-11, 1991 May; :1-7
The case of a 38 year old ironworker who died after falling 20 feet through a skylight opening was investigated. The employer was a metal fabrication and erection contractor who employed 55 workers, and who had a safety policy, designated safety officer, and a comprehensive safety program which contained specific safe job procedures. The contractor had been hired to supply and erect an enclosure around a bottling operation located inside an existing building. At the time of the accident the steel skeleton and roof of the enclosure had been constructed. The victim and a foreman agreed to work overtime to finish welding support hangers for the HVAC system. While no one observed his fall, it is assumed that the victim was in the process of covering the ductwork with a fire blanket and either tripped on the angle iron and fell into, or stepped backwards into, an 18 by 24 inch skylight opening, falling approximately 20 feet and landing on the concrete floor, striking the back of his head. He died of an extensive skull fracture 2 hours after the accident. It was recommended that skylight openings be guarded by a fixed standard railing on all exposed sides, or a cover capable of supporting the maximum intended load, and that safety programs be developed to include training and educating employees in the proper methods of covering or guarding skylight openings to prevent falls.
NIOSH-Author; Region-5; FACE-91-11; Accident-analysis; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Work-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Head-injuries; Construction-Search
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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