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Novice drywall installer dies in 7-foot fall from scaffold.

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 06OR003, 2007 Jun; :1-5
On February 1, 2006, a 22-year-old drywall installer fell from a scaffold while hanging sheetrock at a construction project at a private residence, and died 2 days later. The installer had been on the job only 2 weeks and was inexperienced. He was working with a lead worker as a two-man crew. The two workers arrived at the site in the morning, where a barn was being converted into a shop, and set up a scaffold to a height of about 7 feet. The scaffold was placed about 1 foot from the wall, the lead worker locked the wheels on his end, and the two workers climbed onto the scaffold to hang 12-foot pieces of sheetrock on the shop wall. The installer was holding the sheetrock against the wall when the scaffold suddenly moved backward, causing him to lose his balance and fall. He hit his head on the concrete floor. The victim was transported to a hospital, where he died 2 days later. Cause of Death: Blunt force head injuries. Recommendations: 1. Workers on mobile scaffolding should double-check the structural stability of the scaffold and ensure that wheels are locked before mounting the work platform. 2. A competent person must supervise the erection and use of scaffolds. 3. Employers must ensure that construction workers are trained to identify, understand, and control fall hazards. 4. Employers should consider using guardrails on scaffolds wherever practicable.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Work-operations; Training; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Work-practices; Construction-industry; Construction-equipment; Construction-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-06OR003; 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