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Truck Driver Falls Through 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 (Photo 1). The decedent was delivering roofing materials to a firm contracted to re-roof the southwest section of a warehouse. He climbed a ladder to the roof and spoke with three roofing contractors about placement of the roofing materials. For reasons unknown, the decedent stepped over a roof parapet wall onto the low-sloped metal warehouse #2 roof that was not near the area where the roofing was to occur. (Figure 1). One of the roofing contractor employees warned the decedent of the skylights on warehouse #2 roof. The decedent took several steps and then fell through a skylight that was flush with the roof. He landed on the concrete floor 20 feet below. The business owner called 911. Emergency response arrived and transported him to a local hospital. After evaluation at this hospital, the decedent was transferred to a second hospital where he died.
Recommendations:
• Employers should develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive accident prevention program that includes, but is not limited to, job site hazard surveys and worker training in fall hazard recognition.
• Building owners should install protective guard over skylights to prevent falls through skylights by maintenance or other personnel who may access the roof.

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