Safety Tips FACE Reports

FACEValue: Worker dies after falling through barn roof

Case report: #71-164-2017
Issued by: Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program*
Date of incident: Sept. 12, 2016

A 54-year-old construction worker fell 12 feet and died after he stepped on a portion of a metal roof of a dairy cow barn and it gave way. It was the worker’s first day on the job. He was hired to replace the metal roof, which was badly deteriorated and peppered with rusty, pitted areas and damaged trusses. The victim’s employer did not require or provide fall protection, and instructed the workers to walk on the purlins, not the damaged metal roofing. Around 3 p.m., the victim stepped on a metal roof panel that collapsed under his weight, causing him to fall and land on concrete. He died of head injuries at the scene.

To prevent future occurrences:

  • Ensure all surfaces that workers will be navigating are structurally sound and will support them.
  • Ensure fall protection is provided, installed and implemented when employees are exposed to fall hazards of 10 feet or more to the ground or a lower level while engaged in work on a low-pitched roof.
  • Develop and implement a written fall protection work plan.
  • Conduct walkaround safety inspections at the beginning of each job, and at least weekly thereafter.

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