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A laborer dies following a forty-six-foot fall from a scaffold.

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 97MD045, 1997 Dec; :1-3
On June 27, 1997, at approximately 1:00 p.m., a 39-year-old male laborer (the victim) was helping a siding mechanic/painter (the witness) scrape and point the front of a four-story townhouse in a large metropolitan area. They were working from a WACO scaffold seven frames high (approximately 46-feet high) and three frames wide. The witness and the victim climbed to the top scaffolding boards and began to scrape the walls and windows. As the victim stood up, he apparently lost his balance and fell backward off the scaffold, striking the boards at subsequently lower levels and the brick sidewalk. The witness climbed down from the scaffold to render aid. A passerby, who saw the victim fall, used her cell phone to call 911. Emergency medical services responded within five minutes and transported the victim to the nearest shock trauma center, where he was pronounced dead. The Maryland FACE Field Investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Perform a thorough hazard assessment of the scaffolding to ensure that all components, such as adequate planking, cross bracing, toe boards and guard rails are in place prior to the start of work. 2. Train workers in fall hazard recognition when erecting and working from a scaffold. 3. Maintain a strict vigilance for substance abuse and working while impaired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Painters; Safety-education; Scaffolds; Region-3; Engineering-controls; Work-practices
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-97MD045; 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