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Painter falls 24-feet from a ladder placed on mobile tubular steel 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 98MD016, 1998 Oct; :1-3
On Thursday, April 16, 1998, a 44-year-old painter received fatal injuries when he fell 24-feet to the sidewalk. The victim and the owner/proprietor of a very small contracting/home improvement business, had erected a tubular steel scaffold in preparation for painting the wood trim on a city row house. The scaffold was one frame long and wide (approximately 7-feet by 5-feet) and two frames high (approximately 13-feet high). A 12-foot wooden straight ladder was positioned on top of the scaffold, so that the victim could paint the second floor window frames and cornice at the front of the house. No one witnessed the fall. However, from the evidence at hand, it is believed that as the victim ascended the ladder, it acted as a lever and caused the scaffold to topple away from the front of the house. The victim fell between the house and the scaffold, striking his head on the concrete sidewalk. The home owner, who was in his kitchen, heard the scaffold fall and ran to see what had happen. He found the victim lying on the sidewalk, bleeding from his nose and one ear. Although he had a pulse, the victim did not respond to communication. The home owner shouted to a friend to call 911. Police and an ambulance responded to the scene within a few minutes. The victim was not responsive to the paramedics' efforts to revive him. He was transported by ambulance to the local shock trauma unit for further treatment. Eight days later the victim died of the injuries received in the fall. The MD/FACE investigator concluded, that to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that scaffolds are erected, moved, dismantled or altered under the direction of a competent person - someone knowledgeable of scaffold safety requirements. 2. Ensure that scaffolds are fully planked at the working level. 3. Ensure that ladders are not used on scaffolds to increase the working level height of the scaffold, unless specific criteria in the standard is met.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Scaffolds; Traumatic-injuries; Region-3; Painters; 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-98MD016; 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