Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other


FACE Report: Demolition laborer dies in fall through skylight


Photo: NIOSH

Case report: #22KY046
Issued by: Kentucky State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of report: June 7, 2023

A 44-year-old demolition worker was removing roofing components from a former auto dealership. He had worked for his employer for five days. The worker was on the building’s roof when he stepped backward and onto a skylight, which broke under his weight. He fell about 19 feet and landed on a concrete floor. Local fire department personnel arrived in response to a 911 call and began CPR. Emergency medical services arrived a short time later. The worker died at the scene. Cause of death was listed as blunt force injuries to the head, torso and extremities. The demolition company employer stated that the worker was an employee of a subcontractor, and therefore the safety and health responsibilities for the worker fell to the subcontractor. However, investigators determined that the worker, who had not been trained on fall protection, was an employee of the demolition company.

To help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Properly assess the assigned work for recognized hazards (job safety analysis, job hazard analysis, pre-task plan, etc.).
  • Provide appropriate fall arrest systems (guardrail systems, covers and personal fall arrest systems) for employees working at height – including working around skylights – with a fall distance of 6 feet or more.
  • Consider Prevention through Design to “design out” or minimize hazards and risk.
  • Train workers on how to recognize fall hazards associated with the task being performed and the procedures to be followed.
  • Provide training in a language that workers can understand.
  • Understand their responsibilities for the safety and health of their workers when they are on multi-employer worksites.

McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email or visit our website

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication