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Preventing falls through skylights and roof openings.

Bobick-TG; Stanevich-RL; Pizatella-TJ; Keane-PR; Smith-DL
Prof Saf 1994 Sep; 39(9):33-37
Preventing falls through skylights and roof openings was discussed. The epidemiological aspects of occupational falls from height were considered. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 10% of the traumatic occupational fatalities in 1990 were caused by falls. The National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) Surveillance System maintained by NIOSH found that occupational falls were the fourth leading cause of death from 1980 through 1989. The origin of the falls through skylights and roof openings problem was discussed. Regulatory requirements for working near skylights were discussed. Surveillance data on the number of fatalities caused by falls through skylights were summarized. NTOF data for the period 1980 through 1989 identified 56 deaths caused by falls through skylights and 79 deaths caused by falls through roofs or roof openings. Six case summaries of fatal falls through skylight or roof opening accidents extracted from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation project were presented. These indicated that the regulatory requirements for protecting employees from such accidents were not being implemented. An approach for preventing or reducing the incidence of fall through skylight injuries and deaths was discussed. The approach known as the injury reduction matrix (IRM) identified work requirements and organizational responsibilities that should be implemented during the preconstruction, construction, and post construction phases. Corrective actions that should be taken to eliminate any deficiencies were also incorporated into the matrix. It was noted that the IRM can be applied to most work situations for investigating accidents that cause injury or death.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-accidents; Construction-workers; Regulations; Accident-prevention; Epidemiology; Case-studies; Surveillance-programs; Mortality-data; Accident-analysis;
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Professional Safety
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division