Two 20 year-old laborers died after falling approximately 25 feet from suspension scaffolding while preparing the inside of a municipal water tank for painting. Neither laborer was wearing fall personal protection equipment at the time of the fatal incident. The laborers were preparing the inside of a 200,000-gallon water tank for painting when one end of the scaffolding dropped after a support cable slipped. The job foreman arrived at the job site and entered the tank to check on the laborers. He found both laborers on the tank floor. Laborer 1 had respiratory vital signs but Laborer 2 did not. The foreman left the tank, called 911 then reentered the tank. Emergency medical services arrived at the scene and administered cardio pulminary rescitation to the laborers. Laborer 2 was declared dead at the scene. Laborer 1 died the next day in the hospital.

To prevent similar incidents from occurring, Kentucky FACE recommends:

  • Scaffolding should be inspected for safety hazards prior to each work shift and every time it is moved.
  • Employees should use fall personal protection equipment provided by the employer.
  • Safety training and warnings should be reinforced regularly to employees exposed to the dangers of falls from heights.

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