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Carpenter dies after he jumped/lost balance from an unsecured ladder that fell due to a wind gust.

Michigan State University
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 05MI051, 2006 Nov; :1-10
On Wednesday, May 11, 2005, a 38-year-old male carpenter died after jumping or losing his balance from an unsecured ladder that was falling due to a gust of wind. The company's jobsite foreman instructed the victim and two coworkers to work on the siding on the west side of the house. The victim and one of the coworkers positioned their 30-foot fiberglass extension ladders on a second floor walk out deck. The 16- x 20-foot deck was constructed seven feet above grade and was unguarded on all sides. The victim and his coworker erected their ladders side-by-side and leaned them against the side of the house. Both the victim and his coworker were working approximately 15 feet high on their respective ladders. Both ladders had the ladder feet supported by a piece of plywood adhered to the deck to prevent the ladders from sliding away from the house. At approximately 8:30 a.m., the victim and his coworker were attaching wood nailers for a soffit screen when a gust of wind (approximately 45 mph) from an approaching thunderstorm blew the top of the victim's ladder sideways (south) along the facia board. As the ladder was falling, the victim jumped to the deck approximately 15 feet below and landed at the unguarded deck edge. He then fell ten more feet into a concrete basement well. Coworkers called 911 and the victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Recommendations: 1. Construction employers should conduct a daily hazard assessment to determine if working conditions have changed or will change. They should inform their employees of their findings and how the changing conditions may affect the work to be performed. 2. Employers must ensure that those in a supervisory position are knowledgeable regarding appropriate safe work practices, so that they will be able to recognize if employees are effectively protected or exhibiting behavior that would indicate that further training or retraining was necessary. 3. Construction employers should consider using scaffolds or other work platforms to work from instead of ladders. 4. If a ladder is determined to be the best tool, then supervision should ensure that the ladder is properly secured against displacement, even if the ladder has safety feet. 5. Employers should cover ground openings, including basement well openings when work is being performed around the opening. Additionally, MIFACE recommends that MIOSHA modify its Sample Construction Safety Program Safety Rules section to include language from Fixed and Portable Ladders, Part 11, Rule 1122(1) and Rule 1124(2).
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Construction-equipment; Ladders; Extension-ladders
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-05MI051; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division