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An Electrical Worker Dies Falling Through A Skylight

A 46-year-old electrical worker died when he fell through the skylight on a room while installing solar panels. The victim was carrying solar panels and walking backward because of the limited space around the skylight. As the victim was walking backward, he tripped on the raised edge of the skylight frame and fell onto the skylight. The skylight glazing (the transparent portion of the skylight) broke under the impact and the victim fell approximately 40 feet to the ground below. Although the skylight label indicated that it was tested in accordance with OSHA fall protection standard, there are currently no inform test criteria to determine material strength to withstand worker impact. The CA/FACE investigator determined that in order to prevent future incidents, employers of workers who install solar panels on roofs with skylights should:

Introduction

On Monday, April 6, 3009, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a 46-year old electrical worker died when he fell through a skylight approximately 40 feet to the ground below. He was installing solar panels on the roof of a warehouse when the incident occurred. The CA/FACE investigator was notified of this incident on May 8, 2009, from the Department of Investigations of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CAL/OSHA). ON June 15, 2009, the CA/FACE investigator interviewed the risk manager of the electrical contractor that employed the victim. Telephone interviews were conducted on July 2, 2009, with the local union business manager, one co-worker of the victim, and a sales manager of the skylight manufacturer. A site visit was performed on July 29, 2009. The CA/FACE investigator reviewed the electrical contractor’s safety policies and procedures, training program, and the victim’s orientation and training records.

EMPLOYER/VICTIM INFORMATION

The victim was a member of the local electrical union with eight years of work experience. He had been employed with the electrical contractor for seven days when the incident occurred. The electrical contractor had been in business for 46 years and had 800 employees. There were 33 employees at the site the day the incident occurred. The employer had a complete written Injury and Illness Prevention Program

Why Plasteco?

Plasteco, founded in 1956 in Houston, Texas, is a leading manufacturer of architectural, commercial and industrial skylights and skylight fall protection. Click here to learn more about skylight fall protection.

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