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Analysis of selected scaffold-related fatal falls.
Bobick TG; Bell CA; Stanevich RL; Smith DL; Stout NA
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting, October 8-12, 1990, Orlando, Florida. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 1990 Oct; 34(14):1072-1076
Accident cases which involved falls from scaffolds were considered along with recommendations for preventing similar accidents. Data were taken primarily from Fatal Accident Circumstances and Epidemiology reports investigated by NIOSH. Of the 3491 fatal workplace falls reported between 1980 and 1985, 2705 involved falls from elevations, where 461 were falls from scaffolds. From October 1988 to February 1990 there were 50 fall related deaths investigated by NIOSH. Of these, ten were falls from scaffolds; nine were discussed in detail. The employers involved in these nine cases had an average of 21 years in the business. Eight were special trade contractors and one was a general building contractor. They averaged 80 workers with a range of less than 10 to over 500. Five of these companies had no safety rules or procedures written down. Three did not have a safety officer and eight provided on the job training only. Personal protective equipment was not often required. Half of the ten victims were painters; the others were represented by an asbestos remover, a caulking mechanic, a cement finisher, a drywall finisher, and a stucco mason. Six of the accidents involved suspended scaffolds and the rest involved welded tubular scaffolds. The average fall distance was 55.5 feet with a range of 12 to 160 feet. Recommendations focused on policies and procedures, training, and protective equipment.
Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Safety-research; Safety-practices; Case-studies
Issue of Publication
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting, October 8-12, 1990, Orlando, Florida
CA; FL; WV
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division