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Male farmer/handyman dies after falling from an unstable ladder.

Minnesota Department of Health
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 93MN002, 1993 Jun; :1-4
A 57-year-old male farmer/handyman (victim) died of complications from injuries he received after falling approximately 18 feet from an unstable ladder. The victim was connecting a stir auger apparatus to electrical power in an empty, newly-constructed 30-foot diameter grain storage bin. The apparatus consisted of a 15-foot long auger arm and three down augers. The base of the auger arm was connected to a track at the 18-foot high bin eave and, when operational, traveled on this track around the bin for complete mixing of grain. The electrical box the apparatus was being wired to was also at this level. A fiberglass extension ladder, supported against the auger arm, was used by the victim to attain his work position. The apparatus was not operational at this time, but the arm was not secured against movement on the track. As the victim ascended the ladder the arm moved on the track, the ladder became unstable, and he fell to the metal floor of the bin. He sustained a vertebral fracture and died six days later from complications arising from his injury. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. structures used for supporting ladders should be solid and blocked against motion; and 2. manufacturers of equipment like that described in this report should place warning signs in prominent locations on it cautioning workers to secure parts against movement before installation.
Region-5; 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; Ladders; Extension-ladders; Equipment-reliability; Warning-signs; Farmers; Agricultural-workers; Musculoskeletal-system
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-93MN002; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division