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Home construction worker falls down elevator shaft.

Oregon Department of Human 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 03OR010, 2003 Nov; :1-6
On May 16, 2003, a 41-year-old worker fell 23 feet down an elevator shaft during the construction of a new residence. The worker was part of a three person framing crew raising a third story in the home. The two co-workers were installing ceiling joists while the victim handed up needed materials. The framing crew was busy setting and nailing joists into place when they heard a sound like that of a "nail gun falling and hitting something". They went to investigate and discovered the victim, at the bottom of the shaft, seriously injured. At the time of the incident, the shaft opening was not covered according to witnesses. Shaft opening now covered and guarded. A 911 call summoned a fire and rescue team who found that the victim had expired, and a deputy medical examiner was called to the scene. Recommendations 1. Employers should design and use comprehensive fall-protection programs to reduce the risk of serious or fatal injuries. 2. An unprotected opening, side or edge which is 6 feet or more above a lower level should be protected by the use of a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system. 3. Establish routine follow up to assure hazard correction or abatement. 4. In remote or obscure locations, make sure that workers know their location, and can provide directions to emergency responders, if needed. Develop an emergency plan that reflects the response time from local emergency services.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers
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-03OR010; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-021204; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008324
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oregon Department of Human Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division