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Police officer dies in 41-foot fall from roof of fire training tower - Alaska.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
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 92AK016, 1992 Nov; :1-6
On May 3, 1992, a 39-year-old, male police officer (the victim) sustained severe head injuries as a result of a fall of 41 feet from the roof of a four-story fire training tower. He died as a result of these injuries on May 4, 1992. The victim was participating in a mountain rescue training exercise called a "vertical lower" This maneuver involved the lowering of a mock casualty in a rescue litter and a medical attendant from the roof to simulate the rescue of an injured person in mountainous terrain. As the victim assisted three other participants move the litter off the retaining wall ledge of the training tower, the 400-pound litter fell. The victim was pulled from the roof as he either attempted to prevent the litter from falling or could not let go of the litter. He struck his head on the asphalt pavement below. The mock casualty and medical attendant also fell, suffering serious but nonfatal injuries. The only personal protective equipment used was a fire helmet worn by the mock casualty. The victim was examined in the local hospital emergency room and evacuated by air transport to a major trauma care facility in another state. He died the following morning. The FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure that hazardous training exercises have an assigned safety officer and a sufficient number of instructors to enable adequate monitoring of participant activities 2. ensure that a secondary means of fall protection is in place for all participants on training towers 3. ensure that the load line is completely reset in the brake system immediately after each "vertical lower" exercise 4. ensure that protective helmets are worn by all participants during training exercises 5. ensure that live loads (individuals rather than substitute weights or dummies) are not used in rescue litters during training exercises 6. ensure that training course participants understand how all system components interact in complex load line/braking mechanisms.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Training; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-helmets; Emergency-responders; Police-officers
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-92AK016; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-007089
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division