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Sign erector dies in falling 90 feet from a ladder hung over a billboard in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 91MA006, 1991 Oct; :1-3
A 39 year old male, owner/operator of a sign company (victim) died after falling 90 feet from a ladder suspended from a billboard on which he was working. The victim, his son (age 19) and another man (co-workers) were changing the billboard advertisement. The victim was standing on a 25-30 foot ladder which was hooked over the top of the billboard, while the others worked on the opposite side of the billboard. Witnesses from a nearby gas station and electric utility company stated they saw the victim "bounce his ladder" to move it to the left and fell off the ladder, then off the platform to the ground below. The victim died from injuries sustained in falling, landing on a rail car below and then the ground. Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that people working over 25 feet above ground level should be protected from falls with a safety harness, life line and lanyard. 2. Ensure that movable ladders are tied, blocked or otherwise secured to prevent their being displaced. 3. Ensure that work off a platform more than 6 feet over ground level be guarded by a railing on all open sides. 4. Develop and implement safe work procedures and training for workers exposed to fall hazards.
Region-1; 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; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Ladders; Warning-signs; Training
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-91MA006; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division