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Housekeeper died from complications sustained after falling down residential stairs.

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 07MI079, 2008 Apr; :1-3
On January 8, 2007, a 62-year-old female housekeeper fell down a flight of stairs at a residence and sustained fractures to her spine. She died several weeks later from complications sustained at the time of the fall. The incident was unwitnessed. She was found at the bottom of the stairs by the homeowner when the homeowner returned home for lunch. The decedent was transported to a local hospital (hospital #1) and then transferred to another hospital (hospital #2), where she underwent surgery for fractures of her spine. After a period of recovery in the hospital, she was transferred to a local long-term care center. After several weeks, the individual's health began to deteriorate, and she was transferred to hospital #2, where she died. Recommendations: 1. When vacuuming stairways, housekeepers should assess whether the vacuum may be safely placed at the top of the stairs or whether the vacuum should be placed at the base of the stairs. 2. Housekeepers should attempt to keep one hand on the stair rail at all times while ascending and descending a stairway. 3. Home cleaning services/self-employed housekeepers should consider using backpack/hip-style vacuum cleaners.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Safety-programs; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Household-workers; Housekeeping-personnel
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-07MI079; 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