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Laborer falls through skylight opening in warehouse roof to the ground below 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 98CA011, 1999 Feb; :1-3
A 39-year old laborer (decedent) died when he fell through an opening in a warehouse roof 20 feet, 7 inches to the ground below. The employer was demolishing the roof of a warehouse. The decedent had removed the skylight covering the opening and was in the process of removing ventilation equipment. As he was walking and changing the socket on his power wrench, he stepped on a 4X8 foot sheet of plywood covering the opening. The plywood gave way and the decedent fell through the opening. The plywood had been nailed to the roof's frame from inside the building during the time the building sat empty. The opening was not otherwise guarded or marked. The decedent was not wearing personal fall protection. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers should as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP): 1. guard roof openings to prevent employees from walking on surfaces with unknown load ratings or provide personal fall protection. 2. ensure visual warnings are placed around all area that present a fall hazard.
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; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Warning-signs; Demolition-industry
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-98CA011; 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