A 62 year-old male brick mason (victim) died after he fell approximately 55 feet through masonry scaffolding. He worked for a masonry subcontracting company contracted to do the masonry work on a new building. The victim was performing ongoing work laying brick at the construction site. At approximately 7:15 AM the victim entered the building he was bricking and ascended to the 4th floor where he reached his workstation. He stepped out of an opening from the building onto the scaffolding outside. As he did so, he stepped over two mason boards (20 inches combined width), which were closest to the building and onto the first one of three materials boards (10 inches wide) located in the middle of the scaffolding. The board he stepped onto broke and he fell 55 feet. He died approximately one hour later at a nearby hospital of multiple blunt force injuries.
In order to prevent similar instances from occurring, FACE investigators recommend that:
- warning signs should be posted on scaffolding reminding workers they are in a dangerous area and to act accordingly.
- employees should be required to be tied-off when working on scaffolding area 6 feet above ground.
- work areas should be inspected for safety hazards prior to each work shift.
- safety meetings should be conducted prior to each shift to remind workers of the importance of safe behavior specific to their tasks.
- timely replacement of scaffolding boards should be instituted so that new sturdy boards are always in place.
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, "Brick Mason Dies from Fall through Scaffolding" (2002). Fatality Case Reports--Falls. 13.