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Laborer dies after falling 30 feet through a fire-vent skylight.

New Jersey Department of Health
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 96NJ003, 1996 Jun; :1-4
On January 15, 1996, a 57-year-old day laborer was critically injured after falling 30 feet through a plastic dome fire-vent while working on a warehouse roof. The victim and 16 other workers had been hired as temporary laborers to shovel snow from the roof of a large warehouse following a blizzard. On the roof were a number of plastic-domed fire-vents, which closely resemble skylights but are designed to melt away in a fire and allow smoke to escape from the building. At about 1:40 p.m. on their third day of work, the laborers were shoveling snow when the victim decided to take a break. He sat down on the edge of one of the fire-vents, which collapsed under his weight. The victim went through the plastic dome, falling 30 feet to the warehouse floor below. He was airlifted to the local trauma center, where he died of his injuries the next day. NJDOH FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar incidents in the future, these safety guidelines should be followed: 1. Read and follow the recommendations in the attached publication, NIOSH Alert: Preventing Worker Deaths and Injuries From Falls Through Skylights and Roof Openings. 2. Be aware of the OSHA regulations requiring the guarding of fire-vents and other roof openings.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Region-2; Work-areas
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-96NJ003; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division