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While installing metal frames on a residential building, a handyman falls 20 feet from a scaffold and dies in California.

Public Health Institute
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 94CA013, 1994 Dec; :1-3
A 55-year-old white, Hispanic male (the decedent) fell 20 feet from an unsecured scaffold and died two days later. He and a co-worker had been installing metal frames on the exterior wall of a residential building when the incident occurred. The decedent was apparently working from a ladder on the scaffold and was trying to pull a nail out of the wall. The scaffold was not tied off and it moved away from the building. The decedent fell hitting his head on the second story, and then continued to fall to the cement below. The distance from the scaffold to the ground was 20 feet. The decedent and the co-worker were not wearing any type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the time of incident. The victim was transported to the hospital where a craniotomy was performed. He was pronounced dead on May 18, 1994 at 6:00 p.m. The CA/FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent similar future occurrences, employers should: 1. require that employees tie off scaffolds before beginning a job when the height of the scaffold exceeds three times the least base dimension. 2. prohibit employees from using ladders positioned on scaffolds. 3. develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program that includes, but is not limited to, training in fall hazard recognition and the use of fall protection devices. 4. conduct frequent scheduled and unscheduled work-site surveys to assess potential safety hazards and to ensure compliance with safe workplace procedures. Once an assessment has been completed, written safety rules and procedures should be developed, implemented, and enforced with participation from workers.
Region-9; 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; Ladders; Scaffolds; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Training; Maintenance-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-94CA013; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division