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Carpenter dies following 13-foot fall from a scaffold collapse while setting trusses on a barn construction in Maryland.

Maryland Division of Labor and Industry
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 94MD004, 1997 Aug; :1-4
A 37 year old male carpenter died from head injuries sustained when he fell 13 feet from a carpenters' bracket scaffold that collapsed when a bracket failed. The victim and co-workers were engaged in erecting a barn and were in the process of positioning prefabricated roof truss assemblies on the partially completed structure. The victim and two co-workers were on a carpenter's bracket scaffold mounted on the north side of the barn structure positioning and fastening the truss assemblies along with three other co-workers who were located on a similar scaffold attached to the south side of the structure. The scaffold brackets had been fabricated by the contractor using 1/2 inch angle iron and had been attached to the barn posts with dual head nails and chains wrapped around the posts above the topmost horizontal structural member, or wall girt. The barn posts were spaced 10 feet on center and the scaffold working surface was wooden planks. A truss assembly had been lifted into place by a truck crane. While the victim was using a sledgehammer to position the truss assembly, the bracket directly under him failed and the scaffold collapsed. The victim and a co-worker fell to the ground. During the fall, the co-worker was able to slow his descent by grabbing onto a wall girt. Following the collapse two co-workers went to the aid of the victim and began CPR. Another co-worker went to a nearby farmhouse and notified the emergency medical service. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital were he was pronounced dead 57 minutes after the incident. The Maryland FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences employers should: 1. ensure that scaffolding used on the jobsite is in compliance with safety regulations that specify their design, strength, condition, materials, and supports. 2. should establish safety programs that will instruct employees in safe work practices and the recognition of safety hazards including regular and careful inspection of all scaffold components and attachment.
Region-3; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Construction; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Scaffolds; Construction-equipment
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-94MD004; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-309872
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Maryland Division of Labor and Industry
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division