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Window cleaner killed in fall due to unsecured line.

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 05OR038, 2006 Oct; :1-6
On October 19, 2005, a 31-year-old Hispanic window cleaner was killed when he fell six stories from a balcony on a seven-story commercial building. The window cleaner and a coworker had rigged their descent lines, safety lines, and boatswain's chairs, and attached the equipment to wire cables strung between roof anchors. The window cleaner, who was the designated supervisor of the team, got into his boatswain's chair, and climbed over the balcony edge. The coworker saw the window cleaner falling, and then saw one end of his safety cable fall off the roof of the building. The coworker immediately rappelled down to assist the victim, who had landed on the concrete walk below. The coworker dialed 911 on his cell phone and was assisted with the call by an off-duty paramedic, who witnessed the event. An emergency medical team arrived minutes later. The victim died instantly in the fall. Cause of Death: Multiple head, chest and extremity injuries. Recommendations: 1. Workers at suspended heights must inspect the condition and security of all anchors, rigging, and other equipment prior to use. 2. Workers at suspended heights should cooperate to double check the security of all rigging, and communicate readiness to proceed. 3. Employers must maintain a written fall-protection safety program to document that workers at suspended heights are properly trained and proficient in safe work procedures.
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; Protective-equipment
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-05OR038; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-021204; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008324; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008472
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