CITE's Workplace Safety Blog

Saturday, 07 December 2013 10:44

Fall Protection Training Could have Prevented this Accident

    Fall Protection Training Could have Prevented this Accident

    On January 5, 2012, a 52-year-old carpenter/foreman was fatally injured when he fell from a beam. The victim had been employed for 14 years by a small general contractor who primarily did residential work, but also did commercial and industrial jobs.

    This Washington State Fatality Narrative was originally published by SHARP:
    https://www.lni.wa.gov/safety/research/face/files/711212013carpenterfallsfrombeamslideshow.pdf

    On the day of the incident, the victim and a laborer were at a jobsite, where they had worked for the past month, adding an addition to a commercial building. They used a ladder to access the top plate of the unfinished single-story structure where they intended to place a rim joist. They had previously been working from ladders and, according to the laborer, intended to return to working from the ladders once they placed the rim joist.

    Fall-protection gear was available on-site, but they did not use it. As they were moving the rim joist into place, the laborer was standing on the top plate and the victim was standing on 6½-inch-wide beam, when the victim fell 12 feet 7 inches to a concrete surface. The laborer called emergency services, who transported the victim to a hospital, where he died of head injuries two weeks later.

    Employer Requirements:

    • Train employees in the requirements of the fall protection work plan. See WAC 296-155-24611(2)(b).
    • Develop and implement a written fall protection work plan including each area of the work place where the employees are assigned and where hazards of ten feet or more exist. See WAC 296-155-24611(2)(a).
    • Ensure that the appropriate fall protection system is provided, installed, and implemented according to the requirements in Chapter 296-155 WAC, Part C-1 Fall Protection Requirements for Construction when employees are exposed to fall hazards of four feet or more and working on any surface that does not meet the definition of a walking/working surface not already covered in WAC 296-155-24609. See WAC 296-155-24611(1)(c).

    Recommendations

    • When installing joists consider minimizing fall hazards by using methods such as a mobile scaffold, wall bracket scaffold, or catch platform.
    • Conduct a daily pre-task job hazard analysis to identify potential fall hazards so that work can be completed safely.