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Construction foreman dies from fall while climbing the tower of a hydromobile scaffold.

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 07MI013, 2007 Dec; :1-9
On February 6, 2007, a 56-year-old male construction foreman of a masonry crew was critically injured when he fell while climbing the tower of a hydromobile scaffold system, Model #MU724J. While climbing the scaffold, he may have had a cerebral infarction (blockage of the flow of blood to the cerebrum, causing or resulting in brain tissue death). He died two days later. The scaffold's 60-foot long, 5-foot wide platform access was located 32 feet from the ground. The fixed ladder supplied by the manufacturer was not installed. Two members of the crew, Coworker #1 and Coworker #2, climbed the scaffold tower to the platform to prepare the wall and winterize the scaffold. The decedent arrived and began to climb the tower to access the platform. When the decedent was approximately six to ten feet above the ground, Coworker #1 witnessed the decedent suddenly fall backwards from the scaffold to the ground and then roll to his left side. Coworker #1 descended from the scaffold to assist the decedent. The decedent was unconscious but still breathing. Coworker #2 descended to stay with the decedent while Coworker #1 ran to the general contractor's work trailer for assistance. Emergency response was called. Emergency response arrived, and after approximately one hour, the decedent was airlifted to a local hospital where he died two days later. Recommendations: 1. Employers should ensure that scaffold safety components are provided and appropriately attached to the scaffold to provide safe access to the scaffold platform prior to use. 2. Employers should develop a checklist to ensure all unattached scaffold components are included in the shipment to the site. 3. Employers should periodically reevaluate their organizational commitment and leadership with respect to their safety programs. 4. Company management should consider developing a joint health and safety committee. 5. Hydromobile scaffold manufacturers should review current ladder system design for potential ergonomic modifications to improve ease of worker ascent to/descent from the working platform.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Construction; Construction-workers; Ladders; Safety-programs; Scaffolds; Management-personnel; Supervisory-personnel; Training; Neurovascular-disorders
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-07MI013; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466
Priority Area
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Services
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