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Construction laborer fell from ladder.

Iowa 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 10IA054, 2012 Oct; :1-10
A 46-year-old employee of a small Amish-owned construction business was fatally injured when he fell from a ladder onto a concrete block foundation retaining wall. The victim worked as a driver and helper for his employer. On the afternoon of the incident, the three-man crew of the construction business was removing shingles to re-roof a private recreation facility. At the end of the work day, the victim carried a tarp up an extension ladder to the roof so the owner could cover the roof in anticipation of impending rain. The victim fell an estimated 10 to 12 feet to the foundation retaining wall located to the left of the ladder. The fall was not witnessed. A stabilizer bar attached to the ladder had come apart from the ladder, and a nylon tie-down strap used to secure the stabilizer bar to the roof had broken when the ladder slid sideways. The owner of the business heard the victim fall and called 911. Local EMS responders arrived to find the victim unconscious with multiple blunt force injuries to the head, neck, torso, thorax, and abdomen. The victim was transported to a hospital approximately 30 miles away and died 4 hours later. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Use a hoist or pulley to raise and lower the heavy or awkward objects to their destination. Do not carry any objects or loads up a ladder that would cause an employee to lose balance. 2. Set up non-self-supporting extension ladders on firm level footing so height-to-base ratio is 4:1. Assure both rails of the ladder maintain equal contact with the supporting structure. Tie or stake the ladder so the top and bottom are secure and unable to move laterally. 3. Train employees who use ladders to recognize all fall hazards at the worksite and the means to eliminate those hazards. 4. Regularly check ladders and ladder accessories, including straps, stabilizers, clips or bolts affixing stand-off bars or stabilizers - to assure they are intact and not missing, damaged, or worn. 5. Use ladders that are sized for the maximum load and capacity that will be needed. Do not load ladders beyond the manufacturer's rated capacity. 6. Wear slip-resistant footwear when on ladders. Keep the midline of the body between the side rails of the ladder. Keep "three points of contact" on the ladder at all times. 7. Identify effective ways to effectively provide occupational safety resources and training to small special population business owners that may not have access to traditional safety resources such as trade organizations, insurance carriers, or OSHA consultation services.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Work-practices; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Ladders; Traumatic-injuries; Fall-protection; Construction; Construction-equipment
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-10IA054; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008460; B20130124
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division