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Immigrant roofer struck by a bag of gravel that fell from a roof - Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
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 10MA032, 2011 Oct; :1-6
On November 13, 2010 a 39-year-old male roofer (victim) was part of a crew repairing the roof of a building. The victim was standing on the ground when he was struck by a bag loaded with gravel from the building's roof. The bag, which weighed approximately 40 pounds, was being lowered from the roof to the ground using a portable manual rope pulley system. The bag free fell three and one half stories, striking the victim in the head. Two co-workers were positioned on the building's roof at the time of the incident. One of the co-workers immediately called the company owner after the incident. The company owner then placed a call for emergency medical services (EMS). A pedestrian who heard yells for help also called EMS. The local police arrived followed by the fire department and EMS personnel within minutes of the call. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1) Ensure that only rope pulley systems with brakes are used for hoisting and lowering tasks; 2) Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for using rope pulley systems that include voice and hand signals and barricading off the pulley's fall zone; 3) Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety and health program and provide training which includes hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, such as the hazards associated with using rope pulley systems.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Roofers; Roofing-industry; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-materials; Gravel-processing; Hoisting-equipment; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Signaling-systems
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-10MA032; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division