Safety News

Teen Hospitalized After Falling Through Roof of Portsmouth Middle School
A 14-year-old boy is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after he fell through the roof of a school’s gymnasium skylight Wednesday night.
Read More: ABC 13News Now

Denver Firefighter Death Prompts Nationwide Alert
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has issued a nationwide alert to fire departments across the country following last July’s death of Denver firefighter John Whelan.
Read More: CBS4 Denver

Colorado Firefighter Loses Life to Fall Through Unprotected Skylight
A Denver firefighter seriously injured when he fell through a skylight while battling a Dumpster blaze late last month died Wednesday night. John Whelan, 46, “succumbed to injuries” he suffered working the June 28 fire, officials said.
Read More: Denver Firefighter Dies From Injuries From Falling Through Skylight

Florida Worker is Killed in Fatal Fall Through Fiberglass Panel
A man cleaning a roof at a Fort Myers Beach marina died from injuries he received after he fell through a Fiberglass panel Tuesday. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Danny Balensiefer, 52, of Fort Myers, an employee at the marina, had been powerwashing a large building when he broke through the light panel and fell face-down into the building shortly before 1 p.m.
Read More: Man Falls Through Roof on Fort Myers Beach, Dies

Prevent Skylight Falls with Proper Protection
More than 800 construction workers die every year while on the job. Falls are the number one cause of fatalities in construction. Falls cause one of every three construction worker deaths. These falls happen in a split second while workers are on roofs, scaffolds, ladders, bridges, and other work surfaces. But these deaths can be prevented.
Read More: OSHA Falls in Construction Skylight Video Transcript

Employer Faces Legal Repercussions in Work Site Fall Case
Beginning on April 6, 2009 the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Division) conducted an accident inspection at a place of employment in Chino, California maintained by Employer. On June 18, 2009 the Division issued one citation to Employer alleging a violation of workplace safety and health standards codified in California Code of Regulations, Title 8, and proposing civil penalties.
The citation alleged a serious violation of section 3212(e) [failure to protect employees from the hazard of falling through a skylight].
Read More: Before the State of California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board

Two Fall-related Deaths in California Could Have Been Prevented
A 46-year-old electrical worker, Luke J.*, and a 56-year-old warehouse worker, Roberto M.*, both died
after falling through skylights while working on a roof.
Read More: Deadly Skylights! Solar Energy and Warehouse Workers Killed

Two Solar Energy Installers Die from Electrical and Fall Hazards
In the past year, the death of two solar energy installers has highlighted the need for all solar energy companies to review current workplace safety programs and be sure those programs include assessments for electrical and fall hazards.
Read More: California Department of Public Health – Occupational Health Branch Worker Fatality Alert

Construction Laborer Dies from Injuries Received in a 33-foot Fall Through a Skylight Opening
A 50-year-old laborer for a construction contractor died on March 30, 1999 from head injuries he received that day in a fall through a skylight opening. At the time of the incident, the victim was part of a two-man crew installing sealing tape on metal roof decking. The laborer stood, turned, and stepped through a skylight opening that had been uncovered in preparation for installing the skylight and roof decking.
Read More: NIOSH Face Program: Oklahoma Case Report

Laborer Dies After Falling 30 Feet Through a Fire-vent Skylight
On January 15, 1996, a 57-year-old day laborer was critically injured after falling 30 feet through a plastic dome fire-vent while working on a warehouse roof. The victim and 16 other workers had been hired as temporary laborers to shovel snow from the roof of a large warehouse following a blizzard. On the roof were a number of plastic-domed fire-vents, which closely resemble skylights but are designed to melt away in a fire and allow smoke to escape from the building.
Read More: NIOSH Face Program: New Jersey Case Report

Laborer Falls Through Roof Opening Resulting in Fatal Injury
On Oct. 31, 2011, an 18-year-old laborer was fatally injured when he fell through a roof opening. He was an employee of a contractor who was replacing rotten plywood sheathing and joists on a warehouse roof. The victim, a foreman, and another laborer were working on the building’s flat roof tearing out 4’x8’ plywood sections and nailing new ones in place. The victim was wearing a full-body harness with a lanyard and using two lifelines hooked together with one of the lines looped around a skylight frame, which served as an anchor point.
Read More: NIOSH Face Program: Washington Case Report

Truck Driver Killed After Falling Through Unprotected Skylight
On February 3, 2006, a 44-year-old male truck driver/crane operator was killed when he fell through a 3 x 8-foot unprotected corrugated fiberglass skylight that was approximately 1/8 to 3/16 inch thick. The decedent was delivering roofing materials to a firm contracted to re-roof the southwest section of a warehouse.
Read More: NIOSH Face Program: Michigan Case Report

Resources.

American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Skylight Fall Protection Updates

National Institute of Occupational Safety (NIOSH) Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations (Standards – 29 CFR) ― Duty to Have Fall Protection

California FACE Program Action Page ― Preventing Falls Through Skylights

California Department of Public Health FACE Skylights, Roof and Floor Openings Safety Training Supplement

Pride Goes Before The Fall: Osha’s Emphasis On Fall Protection − by Mark A. Lies II & Kerry M. Mohan