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Corrections officer dies when he falls off ladder while supervising prison work crew.

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 01MI047, 2002 Jan; :1-7
On July 8, 2001, a 40-year old male corrections officer died from injuries sustained when he fell off an 18-foot wood straight ladder on January 24, 2001. The correction officer and work crew were at the site of a public works project. The victim and crew were contracted by a project agency to perform a variety of work. On the date of the incident, the work crew was at the project agency site to shovel snow from building roofs. The building roof overhang involved in this incident was approximately 11 feet high. The project agency supplied an 18-foot wood straight ladder without safety feet to gain access to the roof. One inmate already on the roof called down to the officer. An inmate on the ground stabilized the ladder as the victim ascended the ladder to the roof. The victim had reached roof level and was about to step off the ladder onto the roof when the ladder started to slide. It appeared to the inmate holding the ladder that the victim's feet became entangled between the ladder rungs. The victim fell to the plowed but icy asphalt surface, landing on his back. The ladder fell on top of the victim, with his foot still entangled in the ladder. One of the inmates contacted the building owner and emergency response was called. Emergency responders stabilized the victim at the scene and he was transported to a local hospital. Following treatment at the hospital, he was sent home, and treated as an outpatient. The victim began to experience seizures at home and was re-hospitalized. He died several months after the fall. Recommendations: 1. The Michigan Department of Corrections Public Works Agreement should specify the work tools and materials supplied by the project agency meet all applicable MIOSHA safety and health standards. 2. Correctional facilities should train all correctional officers acting as crew supervisors to conduct a job hazard analysis prior to performing work that includes hazard recognition and avoidance, safe work procedure training. 3. Camp management should emphasize the importance of reporting unsafe equipment to the prison camp safety officer. 4. The parent prison facility should develop safe use procedures, including a health and safety checklist for equipment commonly used by work crews on public works projects, such as chain saws, chippers, ladders and forklifts. 5. Correctional facility employees must be trained in the procedures to safely perform a personnel lift using approved platforms.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Training; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-operations; Ladders; Safety-personnel; Equipment-reliability
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-01MI047; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division