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Plumber dies of injuries received from a twenty-two-foot fall, off an extension ladder, at a construction site.

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 96MD036, 1996 Dec; :1-3
A 40-year-old male plumber (the victim) died after falling approximately twenty-two feet from a forty-foot extension ladder and striking the concrete floor of a wet well. The victim and a co-worker (an apprentice plumber) were mounting four inch diameter PVC pipe to the wall of a wet well, at a sewage treatment facility under construction. Their foreman, who was concerned about others working above them, called them out of the work area. The victim and his co-worker exited the wet well. When the victim and his co-worker began to remove the forty-foot extension ladder, the ladder began to extend on them. To keep the ladder from extending, and making it difficult to handle, the victim decided to descend the ladder and tie the rungs together. As the victim started down the ladder the co-worker was approximately three feet away and not facing the ladder, when he heard the ladder rattle. He turned to see what happened and saw the victim at the bottom of the ladder lying on his side. He was conscious and breathing with difficulty. Others in the area notified the general contractor's office, whose personnel called the rescue squad. A helicopter took the victim to the nearest trauma center hospital, where he died the next morning. The MD/FACE Field Investigator concluded that to prevent similar future occurrences, employers should: 1. Stress to employees the importance of using caution when working from extension ladders. 2. Instruct employees on the importance of tying-off an extension ladder securely or having someone holds the ladder to keep it from moving. 3. Assure that rung locks are properly engaged before using an extension ladder
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Region-3; Plumbers; Ladders
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-96MD036; 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