NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Hispanic laborer dies after falling through roof of old building.

Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
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 03WI048, 2006 Jan; :1-8
On August 7, 2003, a 29-year-old Hispanic laborer (the victim) fell through the roof of an old building during renovation. The crew, including the victim, was working for an asbestos abatement company at the time of the incident. On-site were the general contractor (Company A), a salvage company (Company B) and the asbestos abatement company (Company C). The owners of the building contracted with the asbestos abatement company to begin work at this particular site. This was the abatement company's first day on the job and they were anticipating doing window, not roof work. When the asbestos abatement crew arrived at the work site, the abatement company's supervisor asked Company A what they would like them to do. The supervisor of Company A told them they would like them to work on the roof. The abatement company owner knew there were weak areas in the roof, but because he thought his company was scheduled to work on windows, he planned to take the supporting aluminum picks to the work site the following day before the roof work began. The abatement company's owner assigned his company's supervisor to be in charge of the abatement crew in his absence. The victim was working on the badly deteriorated roof and fell through. Adequate safeguards were not in place at the time of the incident. When the victim fell, many workers heard him, but workers from company B were the first to reach him. They found him lying on the cement floor inside the building. They notified emergency medical services (EMS) and the victim was transported to a local hospital where he died approximately two hours later. The FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure that supervisors are trained to recognize hazards and have the authority to take action and refuse to accept a job when conditions are unsafe; 2. ensure that a protocol with a standard operating procedure is in place for working on roofs; 3. enforce a comprehensive written safety and health program that includes, but is not limited to, a fall protection plan that protects workers while working on a roof and, at minimum, meets OSHA standards for fall protection and for retraining workers on these standards; 4. ensure that all workers who are part of a multilingual workforce comprehend and follow training instructions in safe work procedures for all tasks to which they are assigned.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Safety-education; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-equipment; Demolition-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Safety-equipment; Asbestos-removal; Asbestos-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-03WI048; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507081
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division