Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

April 24, 2014


Construction-related falls in Oregon - 2013

National Safety Stand-Down

By now, most of you have probably heard about OSHA's national safety stand-down, set for June 2-6, to raise awareness about falls in the construction industry. During the stand-down, OSHA is asking employers and workers to take a short break and discuss how falls at their workplaces are happening and how they can be prevented.

In Oregon, construction-related falls account for about 25 percent of compensable injury claims. Employers and employees who are thinking about discussion topics for the stand-down might consider how other Oregon workers were injured in falls last year. The timeline below highlights falls that resulted in fatalities or serious injuries in 2013.

1/24/2013        Employee's age: 50    

Fall from roof - The employee was gaining access to a roof. Using a ladder, he noticed that the felt roofing material he was going to work from was icy. He cleaned off a patch of ice and climbed onto the 6:12 pitch roof. As he took the line for his fall protection, which was rigged from the day before, he slipped and fell 10 feet to the ground below.

2/14/2013        Employee's age: 33

Fall from roof - The employee climbed onto the roof of a single-story home to place his anchor and fell onto the flat roof of a garage and then onto a concrete sidewalk. He sustained a serious head injury and broken facial bones.

3/22/2013        Employee's age: 56

Fall from stairs - The employee was carrying a cabinet up stairs and fell to a lower level. There were no handrails installed on the stairs.

5/1/2013          Employee's age: 22

Fall from roof - The employee was measuring gutters and fell. He was tied off with an anchor, harness, lanyard, and rope grab. He fell just below the eave and then fell another 16 feet to the ground. He had a fractured right ankle, damaged right knee, and damaged left ankle.

5/9/2013          Employee's age: 37

Fall from ladder - The employee used a six-foot stepladder to access the hard deck above an office so he could install a new sprinkler head. While moving from the hard deck to the stepladder, he lost his balance and fell to the floor from a height of about eight feet. He broke his left femur and bruised his left knee.

6/5/2013          Employee's age: 25    Fatal

Fall from scaffolding - The employee was working from manmade scaffolding, stepped off the edge, and fell about 23 feet to rocks below.

6/12/2013        Employee's age: 45

Fall from ladder - The employee fell from a ladder to concrete while painting exterior trim on a residential home.

6/20/2013        Employee's age: 23

Fall from parking structure - The employee was working on the sixth floor of a parking structure. He slipped and fell to a concrete form, hit the edge of the form, and then hit the support for the scaffold. His retractable locked and he was suspended just above the fifth floor.

7/22/2013        Employee's age: 31

Fall from scaffold - The employee was laying brick from a scaffold that was 50.5 inches above the ground. He felt dizzy and went to sit down on the planking, then fell between the cross members.

8/9/2013          Employee's age: 31     Fatal

Manlift tipped over - Two employees were dispatched to make a repair on the top of a wood light pole. The workers, using a Genie 65S aerial lift, accessed their work area to make the repair. After making the repair, they lowered the lift to the ground. The victim re-entered the aerial lift by himself to go back up to the work area to photograph their completed work. The other employee, working on the ground, was conducting an electrical test on the completed repair. The victim raised the aerial lift. The boom collapsed and the lift tipped over, ejecting the victim to the ground.

8/30/2013        Employee's age: 28

Fall from ladder - The employee was working from a 16-foot extension ladder and fell after being struck by a large piece of lumber.


Truss collapse - Five employees were installing roof trusses on a new building when the trusses collapsed into the building. One employee was killed and three others were injured.

Employee's age: 33     Fatal? Yes

Employee's age: 18     Fatal? No

Employee's age: 41     Fatal? No

Employee's age: 26     Fatal? No

11/12/2013      Employee's age: 50

Fall from scaffold - The employee was working from a temporary scaffold when he fell about five feet.

12/3/2013        Employee's age: 22

Fall from scaffold - Two employees working from a mobile scaffold fell 17 feet, 4 inches to a cement floor when the scaffold tipped over.

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But remember: the information in this newsletter is intended to highlight safe work practices, but it does not replace Oregon OSHA workplace safety and health rules.

For information about Oregon OSHA services and answers to technical questions, call (503) 378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, (800) 922-2689.