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FACEValue: Carpenter dies after fall from ladder

Case report: #15-MA-037-01*
Issued by: Massachusetts Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: Aug. 1, 2015

A 49-year-old carpenter died after falling from an extension ladder. The victim and a co-worker were performing gutter work on a house. The victim was climbing an extension ladder that was set up on stone pavers to access the roof. While climbing the ladder, the victim fell to the ground when the base of the ladder slipped out and the ladder fell. Emergency medical services and local police arrived within minutes. The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he died 16 days later. At the time of the incident, the company the victim worked for did not have a safety and health program.

To prevent future occurrences:

  • Ensure workers are using the correct type of ladder for the job being performed.
  • Ensure ladders are set up properly before use and equipped with accessories that will help stabilize them.
  • Provide employees with training on ladders and other equipment, such as scaffolding and aerial lifts, when they are used to complete jobs.
  • Develop, implement and enforce a safety and health program that addresses hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions.

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