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Air-conditioning service technician dies after falling from a fixed ladder while climbing to a roof hatch in New Jersey.

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 97NJ059, 1998 May; :1-7
On July 22, 1997, a 38-year-old air-conditioning service technician was killed after falling from a fixed industrial ladder leading to a roof hatch. The incident occurred at a clothing company warehouse where the victim and his co-workers were servicing the air-conditioning units on the roof of the building. After arriving at the worksite, the victim had to climb and descend the ladder (which was fixed to the top of an interior stairwell) several times to get supplies from his truck. Shortly before 2:00 p.m. the victim descended to the ground and tied a rope to a tank of nitrogen gas. Planning to pull the compressed gas up to the roof, he took a regulator valve from his truck and entered the stairwell to climb the ladder to the roof hatch. His co-workers reported hearing the metal regulator fall and found the victim lying on the concrete at the bottom of the stairwell, about 25 feet below the hatch. NJDHSS FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar incidents in the future, these safety guidelines should be followed: 1. Building owners, employers, and employees should ensure that ladders are properly constructed/erected before using them. 2. Employers should conduct a job hazard analysis of all work activities with the participation of the workers. 3. Employers should develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive employee safety program.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Region-2; Ladders; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Workplace-monitoring; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-programs
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-97NJ059; 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