NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Volunteer fire fighter dies after nine-foot fall from ladder - Pennsylvania.

Hause MG; Braddee RW
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 F2000-07, 2000 Jul; :1-4
On January 17, 2000, a 53-year-old male volunteer fire fighter (the victim) died after the extension ladder he was descending slipped out from under him while he was performing maintenance work on the previous day (January 16, 2000). The victim had been working on replacing a garage door opener in the middle bay of the fire station before the incident occurred. Access to the door opener was gained by placing a 14-foot fireground aluminum extension ladder against the side of a fire rescue truck (see Figure 1), climbing the ladder to the roof of the fire rescue truck, and then accessing the garage door opener. The victim had removed the existing door opener and was in the process of going to assist in getting the new door opener ready for installation. While descending the extension ladder, the ladder slipped out from under him and the victim fell headfirst to the concrete floor. Another fire fighter who was assisting the victim in the replacement of the door opener, saw the victim fall and immediately jumped down to the ground from the roof of the rescue truck to assist the victim. He summoned a civilian who was on the ground putting the new opener together to help. The fire fighter who jumped from the roof of the rescue truck ran to a neighboring house to inform the victim's wife, while the civilian called 911. Within a few minutes paramedics and a police officer arrived on the scene. The victim was intubated and transported via a helicopter to the local hospital where he died the next day of his injuries. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: ensure that ladders are used in accordance with existing safety standards; designate an individual as the fire station safety officer for all in-house maintenance to identify potential hazards and ensure that those hazards are eliminated; consider the use of mobile scaffolding, personnel lifts, scissor lifts, or boom lifts, instead of the top surface of a fire truck.
Fire-fighting; Fire-fighting-equipment; Ladders; Occupational-accidents; Safety-equipment; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Region-3
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
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