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Construction worker dies after being struck by plywood that fell from work platform.

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 98MN006, 1998 Aug; :1-4
A 69-year-old male carpenter (victim) died after he was struck by several sheets of plywood that fell from a forklift. The victim and five other carpenters were working on a two-story townhouse. Two workers placed approximately 30 sheets of plywood onto a portable work platform and used a forklift to lift it to the edge of the roof. While two workers worked from the raised platform, the victim and a coworker worked directly beneath it at ground level. After the workers had installed several sheets of plywood on the roof, they asked the victim's coworker to reposition the forklift. The coworker attempted to reposition the lift based on verbal directions from one of the workers on the raised platform. The coworker was not trained to operate the lift's hydraulic control levers. While he attempted to lower the lift, he moved the control lever that caused the forklift to tilt. When it tilted forward the sheets of plywood slid off and struck the victim when they fell to the ground. The operator of the lift ran to the victim and began to remove the sheets of plywood from him. He called for help from other workers at the site. Another worker ran to the scene from the back of the townhouse and lowered the platform to the ground. A call was placed to emergency personnel who arrived at the scene shortly after being notified of the incident. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. workers should never work at locations directly beneath other workers unless adequate protection from falling objects is provided; and 2. workers should not be allowed to operate equipment before receiving proper operator training.
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; Training; Safety-programs; Equipment-operators; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Roofing-industry; 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-98MN006; 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