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Scaffold collapse involving a window washer.
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 83-007, 1983 Jan; :1-3
The case of a window washer who suffered fatal injuries after a fall from a scaffold that collapsed was examined. On July 1, 1983, during window cleaning, the scaffold which two workers were using while cleaning windows on the thirty fourth floor of a building collapsed without warning. One worker was saved by his independent safety line; however, the lanyard of the other worker broke and he fell to his death. The scaffold involved was permanently installed on the building and had a history of previous problems including the overspeed sensor falling off, the wire rope not reeving evenly, improper operation of the swing length connector pins, misalignment of the scaffold rollers, rubbing of the hoist motor against the scaffold framing, breakage of the overspeed brake tilt switch, and a problem with the hoist motor switch. All of the problems were reported to have been corrected prior to the fatal incident. No definitive conclusion was drawn as to the reason for the collapse of the scaffold. It was recommended that employees be reminded frequently of the hazard of entanglement of lifelines and lanyards, and that manufacturers research how to eliminate the problem of entanglements.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-83-007; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Work-practices; Occupational-accidents; Accident-prevention; Industrial-equipment
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