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Maintenance supervisor killed by fall while changing light bulb.

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 10MI006, 2011 Jul; :1-7
In the winter of 2009, a 66-year-old male maintenance supervisor for a church fell down a stairway while changing a burnt-out light bulb. The burned out light to be changed out was at the top of unlit, L-shaped stairway. He placed an 8-foot step ladder (in a closed position) on the second floor landing against a 9-foot long by 42-inch high by 7- inch wide cinder block knee wall. He had an unwitnessed fall. Possible scenarios include an unintentional fall from the second floor landing or a fall from the top of the knee wall as he was attempting to unscrew the fixture's set screws. He was found by an individual walking past the first set of stairs lying on the 5- by 5-foot landing. The individual who discovered the decedent indicated the decedent was unconscious, lying on his back and appeared to be breathing. This individual ran to a nearby office to call for emergency response. Emergency response arrived and the decedent was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Recommendations: 1. Employers should review stairway lighting to identify safety issues related to maintenance and develop an approach to ensure worker safety. 2. The church should develop a Health and Safety management program, which should include the formation of a Health and Safety Committee and a job hazard analysis. 3. The church should identify the edge of the second floor landing/stairway. 4. The church should replace existing light bulbs with bulbs that require less frequent changing. 5. Building designers should consider and discuss lighting maintenance issues with the building owner during the design process.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Lighting; Author Keywords: Church; Fall; Stairway
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-10MI006; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466; B11232011
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