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Sheet metal worker dies after falling 45 feet from air duct.

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 99MN015, 1999 Jul; :1-6
A 43-year-old worker died of injuries sustained when he fell approximately 45 feet at a commercial construction site. The victim who was a member of the local sheet metal workers' union, was employed by a mechanical company that was subcontracted on the project. On the day of the incident the victim had been installing metal air ducts. Prior to falling, the victim and two co-workers were working from a scaffold that was 45 feet above the ground. The two coworkers had been working on one end of the scaffold which was near a large vertical air duct known as a riser. For reasons that remain unclear, the victim climbed over the scaffold's guardrail and onto a horizontal section of the air duct . The victim was not wearing or using any type of fall protection equipment. The victim fell from the air duct he had climbed onto, to the floor of the building. Emergency medical personnel were immediately called and the victim was transported to a local hospital where he died one and one-half hours later. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. employers should ensure that workers always work from an approved safe work platform when working at elevation; 2. employers should ensure that workers follow established safe work procedures; and 3. employers should design, develop, and implement a comprehensive safety program.
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; Safety-programs; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Scaffolds; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Heating-systems; Ventilation-systems
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-99MN015; 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