NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Self-employed painter in Massachusetts dies in fall of twelve feet from "widow's walk" at a single-family home.

Massachusetts 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 96MA023, 1996 Jan; :1-2
On May 22, 1996, a 68 year old self-employed male painter died of injuries sustained in a fall of approximately twelve feet at a Massachusetts residential renovation site. The victim was working on a small porch above the front doorway, known as a "widow's walk", when the incident occurred. Apparently, the victim stepped off of a ladder on the landing and fell through the front rail which was rotten. A co-worker discovered the victim on the walkway and notified the homeowner to call an ambulance. Police and emergency medical services arrived shortly. The victim was secured and transported to a nearby baseball field where he was transported by helicopter to a regional university medical center. He was officially pronounced dead more than six hours following the incident. The MA FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar future occurrences, employers, and self-employed contractors, should: 1. Perform a site survey for structurally unsound building elements and repair, remove or sufficiently mark them.
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; Painters; Ladders; Construction; 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-96MA023; 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