On August 19, 2005, a 69-year-old male construction contractor died from complications of a fall that occurred on July 27, 2005. The victim was standing on the seat of a steel folding chair and fell, striking his head on a tile floor. The victim was performing "punch-list" tasks (tasks that needed to be completed to get the renovation into the condition agreed to in the contract) for a recently renovated building. One of the tasks was to install light bulbs in a range hood. He could not reach the light bulb socket while standing on the floor. He looked for something to elevate him so he could reach the socket. He had not brought a ladder with him. Finding a folding chair nearby, he moved it to the incident site (See Figure 1 NOTE: The folding chair in Figure 1 is the type of folding chair used by the victim, but the picture of the chair was taken in a different location from where the victim fell.) Holding a light bulb that was protected by a globe in one hand, he stood on the open folding chair. Before he could screw in the light bulb, he fell from the chair seat. The event was unwitnessed. A building employee working inside the building heard a crash, and investigated, but did not see the victim. Approximately 10 minutes later, he heard someone yelling for help (the victim), and he again went to investigate. The victim had moved to a nearby wall and was found sitting against the wall by the building employee. This employee called to an employee outside, and asked for assistance. One of the building's employees called 911. The victim was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, and then airlifted to another hospital, where he died approximately three weeks after the injury. Similar folding chair to type victim was standing on. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Construction employers should develop, implement and maintain an accident prevention program (health and safety program) that includes evaluation and elimination of hazards associated with "punch-list" work. 2. Employers should provide appropriate training to employees to reinforce safe work practices and procedures both in the workplace and at home.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Construction; Maintenance-workers; Training