Every winter, we see contractors or maintenance employees fall to their deaths through skylights concealed by heavy snow fall, as well as possibly inadequately protected. This post is solely for the purpose of reminding employers of this hazard. Typically, dealing with snow or related roof damage or leaks is what OSHA refers to as a “non routine hazard.” Ensure that your employees going on the roof are aware of this hazard and proper safety procedures, and that you alert outside contractors about all hazards.
From the Boston Herald.com:
Official: worker checking roof snow falls through skylight
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
PEABODY — A fire official says a maintenance worker was injured when he fell 27 feet through a skylight as he checked out a snowy warehouse roof north of Boston.
Peabody Deputy Fire Chief Richard Nelson tells the Salem News (http://bit.ly/1Ai3Vvz) that the 47-year-old U.S. Foods employee was taken by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital with injuries including two broken legs.
Nelson said it appears the skylight was covered with snow when the man stepped on it Tuesday morning. He said the man was conscious and was "kind of joking" with rescuers.
Nelson said the company was trying to be proactive about the 3 feet of snow on its roof and the employee was assessing whether a crew needed to be brought in to remove it.
Peabody police said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.