Pastor struck by falling roof ice dam, subsequently died from complications.
Michigan State University
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 01MI006, 2001 Sep; :1-5
On January 28, 2001, a 48-year old male died of injuries he sustained approximately two weeks earlier when he was clearing icicles from the church roof at the church where he was pastor. The victim stood facing the church building and used a snow shovel to knock off icicles from the west side of the building roof. He began the roof clearing operation by clearing the small icicles from the roof first. After clearing the smaller icicles, he began work on the bigger icicles. Starting from the tip of the icicle, he used the snow shovel to break the icicle into smaller portions. The victim apparently loosened an ice dam at the roof edge during the icicle clearing operations, and the icicle and the associated rooftop ice dam, estimated weight of one-half ton, fell on him. The icicle crushed his foot, and the ice dam hit his shoulder. He was rushed to the hospital, and due to the extent of the injury, his leg was amputated below his knee. The victim was treated and eventually released from the hospital to continue recuperating from the injury at home. Several weeks later, he began to feel ill, and had difficulty breathing. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died a short time later from a blood clot in his lung. Recommendations: 1. Increase truss space ventilation to alleviate accumulation of warm air at the peak of the truss space, subsequent melting of snow that refreezes at the eave edge resulting in an ice dam. 2. Increase truss space insulation to minimize heat loss from the building below. 3. Identify and seal ceiling openings that allow heat to escape from the heated area of the building to the truss space. 4. Use proper tools and removal techniques to remove accumulations of snow on the roof or other methods to minimize ice dam formation.
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