NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Hispanic worker dies after fall from step ladder while cleaning windows - North Carolina.

Romano NT; Allen A
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 2009-01, 2010 Jul; :1-9
On January 22, 2009, a 33-year-old Hispanic worker was injured after a fall from an 8-foot step ladder. A bucket partially filled with a cleaning solution was tied with a rag to the top of the ladder. The victim was cleaning windows when he fell onto a tiled floor and hit his head. At approximately 1:08 p.m., a tile foreman on the site called 911 and stayed with the conscious victim. The victim became unresponsive and at 1:14 p.m., Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived on the scene. When emergency medical personnel arrived, the victim was unconscious and having seizures. EMS transported the victim to a local hospital. The following morning the worker died from his injuries. Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include: work at an elevation, the improper use of a step ladder and insufficient worker training. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. eliminate the need to climb a ladder in order to clean windows by implementing an engineering control measure (e.g., using extender poles with a squeegee system or the use of an aerial lift). 2. ensure that workers understand how to properly use ladders in a manner that minimizes the risks of injury caused by falling from a ladder. 3. develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive occupational safety and health program and provide worker training that includes hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions. Additionally, general contractors should consider including in the sub-contract language, the requirement that subcontractors provide them with a written comprehensive safety program that addresses safe operating procedures and documents worker training for all the tasks to be performed.
Region-4; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Racial-factors; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Work-operations; Work-practices; Training; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-2009-01; Grant-Number-T01-OH-008431
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
West Virginia University
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division