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Temporary mill worker dies in fall from tower catwalk.

Oregon Department of Human 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 05OR018, 2006 Oct; :1-5
On June 23, 2005, a 43-year-old temporary worker at a lumber planing mill, operating a tower conveyor, fell 17 ft off a catwalk in the tower, and died 2 days later. While operating the planer, the temporary worker observed broken pieces of 2x4s beginning to jam up the flow of lumber. Following standard procedure, he stopped the conveyor and stepped onto one of the catwalks that traverse the interior of the metal-beam structure in order to reach the jam. He picked up a broken 2x4 and stepped backward on the catwalk to the platform; then walked out on the catwalk a second time to retrieve another long 2x4, and backed out, dragging the board. At the end of the catwalk, he missed his footing and fell to the concrete floor below, striking his head on another machine in his fall. Emergency responders arrived within a few minutes and transported the victim to the local hospital, where he underwent immediate surgery. He later died in the hospital. Cause of Death: Blunt head and chest injuries. Recommendations: 1. Guardrails must be installed on regularly used access walkways that are 4 ft or more above the ground. If guardrails are not feasible, alternative fall protection must be employed. 2. Training in safe work procedures should be provided to all workers, including temporary workers. 3. Employers should conduct hazard surveys and follow through with corrective action.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Equipment-design; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Safety-equipment; Protective-equipment; Sawmill-workers; Lumber-industry; Lumber-industry-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-05OR018; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-021204; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008324; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-0083472
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oregon Department of Human Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division