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Temporary construction worker dies after falling from a scaffold plank in Washington State.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
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 02WA019, 2007 Jun; :1-19
In April of 2002, a 43-year-old male temporary laborer was fatally injured when he fell from a scaffold plank. The victim had been hired through a temporary labor service to work one day for a roofing contractor as additional help on a roofing job in a residential neighborhood. The victim was working with a crew of six laborers and a supervisor on a roof tear-off at a home in western Washington State. The workers were removing old roofing material and hand-carrying the debris in metal trash cans from the roof, and dumping the debris into a truck located adjacent to the roof. The roofing contractor used a ladder-jack scaffold plank as a walking platform for the workers to use while carrying the debris from the roof to the truck. The victim was hand-carrying an armful of debris across the plank to the truck, when he fell approximately 9 feet to an asphalt driveway below. He was unconscious and unresponsive with an obvious serious head wound suffered from the fall. Medical assistance was called and he was transported to an area trauma center where he died of his injuries several days later. To prevent similar occurrences in the future, the Washington State Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (FACE) investigative team concluded that employers engaged in roofing work, or similar operations, should follow these guidelines: 1.) Employers are responsible for assessing hazards and implementing fall prevention and protection measures before starting a job, and for re-evaluating the hazards and protection measures during the course of the roofing work. 2.) Jobs should be designed to minimize fall exposures. An alternate method could be used to eliminate the need for walking between the roof and debris truck. 3.) Conduct pre-job safety meetings to discuss site safety & health issues and to review potential fall hazards and appropriate fall prevention measures. 4.) Provide employees with fall hazard assessment training by a competent person. 5.) Temporary employment service agencies should work with secondary employers to ensure that specific job descriptions, training criteria, and hazard analyses have been completed for each job assigned to temporary employees. 6.) Employers should provide appropriate fall protection equipment for all workers who may be exposed to a fall hazard.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Fall-protection; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Job-analysis; Occupational-safety-programs; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Roofing-and-sheet-metal-work; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Scaffolds; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Work-analysis; Worker-motivation; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-practices
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-02WA019; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008487; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-013928
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division