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A roofer's helper, working for a roofing contractor in Texas, died when he fell through a three-foot square opening in a roof and struck a concrete floor.

Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
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 98TX128, 1998 Oct; :1-4
On March 13, 1998, a 28-year-old roofer's helper (the victim) died when he fell through a three-foot square opening in a roof. The victim was in the process of removing roofing material from a one-story building by throwing debris over the side of the building or down one of the numerous openings left on the roof. The openings were left when equipment, such as heating and air conditioning, were removed as part of the building renovation. Plywood sheets were laid on top of the openings. The victim proceeded to one of the smaller openings, which measured about three foot square. He lifted the sheet of plywood covering the opening and pushed it forward. When he did, he took an additional step and fell through the opening. He struck the cement floor sixteen feet below. Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel were notified. They transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The TX FACE Investigator concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Protect employees from falling into or through holes which are six feet or more above lower levels by employing a fall arrest system as part of required personal protective equipment (PPE). 2. Obtain information about workplace hazards to which their employees may be exposed and take appropriate action to protect affected employees from any such hazards. 3. Provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards.
Region-6; 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; Roofers; Roofing-industry; Training; Personal-protection; Protective-materials; Protective-measures; Construction-industry; 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-98TX128; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613936
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division