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Carpenter's helper dies after falling through stairwell opening - Virginia, September 4, 1992.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92-36, 1992 Dec; :1-5
The case of a 35 year old male carpenter's helper who died following a fall into a stairwell opening in Virginia was reviewed. The victim was 6 feet 5 inches tall, and weighed 235 pounds. The employer had been subcontracted to frame up a one story private residence. The residence was to have a full basement. The victim was working on the floor, handing sheets of plywood to men working on the roof. Adjacent to the victim's work area was a stairwell opening which was enclosed on three sides by 2 by 4 inch stud walls and on the forth side by a door. There were 14 inch openings between studs. The men on the roof heard the victim fall through the stairwell opening, but did not observe what caused the fall. The size of the victim prohibited him from inadvertently falling face forward or sideways through the 14 inch openings. It is thought that he either stepped between two studs to look into or to cross over the stairwell opening. He may have tripped on the floorboard or caught the hammer hanging from his tool belt on one of the studs, causing him to lose his balance. It was recommended that all floor or roof openings be guarded, and that workers be trained to recognize hazards at the worksites.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-92-36; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Traumatic-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