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Lack of Fall Protection Leads to Three Deaths

Case 1: A hospital was being renovated and an additional structure attached. Two employees were working from an existing portion of the roof, moving sections of angle iron measuring 20 feet in length. The first employee bent over to pick up one end of an angle iron, and was expecting the other employee to pick up his end. When that did not occur, the first employee looked up and saw the victim standing, bent at the waist, with his hands on his knees. He was 6-12 inches from the edge of the roof, and did not respond when called to, but instead fell head first over a 10-inch parapet wall. He landed on the asphalt driveway and sustained trauma to the back of the head, as well as contusions to the right eye and torso. Based on the height of the roof and the employees’ proximity to the edge, some form of fall protection should have been used. The victim died four hours after the accident.

Case 2: During steel erection, an employee was walking on a 5½-inch-wide steel beam that was over 37 feet above dry soil. He was not using fall protection. The beam apparently wobbled, and the employee lost his balance and fell to his death.

Case 3: Without any kind of fall protection, an employee was walking atop structural steel to check joints and bolts. He apparently slipped or misjudged his footing and fell approximately 20 feet to the concrete floor below, resulting in his death.


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