Oregon FACE Report: Collapsed roof trusses kill carpenter foreman

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Oregon FACE Program

Summary Statement

The Oregon Fatalaty Assessment and Control Evaluation Program (OR-FACE) developed recommneations following the death of a carpenter when roof trusses collapsed. The recommendations include a comprehensive pre-job assessment of each stage of the project to ensure safety and compliance with manufacturer recommendations, review of practices for proper bracing and restraint, assembling sections on the ground or using scaffolds, and training workers on safe practices.
January 1, 2013


FATAL HAZARD: Collapsed roof trusses kill carpenter foreman

  • Conduct pre-job assessment and plan each stage of the job
  • Follow practices for adequate bracing and restraint
  • Eliminate or minimize fall hazards by assembling sections on the ground or using scaffolds
  • Train workers on safe practices.

Toolbox Talk Guide

Collapsed roof trusses kill carpenter foreman

Collapsed trusses- scene of the incident

INSTRUCTIONS: Hold the guide with this side facing you and the above Fatal Hazard side facing your crew. Then read the story.

Our safety talk today is about a 32-year-old carpenter foreman who was killed when the roof truss system he and his crew were installing collapsed. The truss manufacturer arranged for delivery of the trusses on a trailer pulled by a truck-mounted crane. The truck operator provided the foreman with the delivery packet containing the "Guide to Handling, Installing Restraining and Bracing Trusses." After each truss was lifted by the crane and set in place on the structure, the crew nailed temporary lateral restraints on the top chords but not diagonal bracing as instructed on the Guide.

After crew members fell off the top plates and the worker on the floor was struck by a truss and sustained a concussion. The supervisor fell to the floor and was fatally struck by a falling truss.

So here are some ways we can prevent something like this from happening where we work.

  • Conduct pre-job assessment so we can plan each stage to reduce potential injuries and comply with manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Review and follow practices for adequate bracing and restraints for truss installation. "Guide to good practice for handling, installing, restraining & bracing of metal plate connected wood trusses," developed by Structural Building Components Association shows where to locate temporary lateral restraints and diagonal bracing.
  • Eliminate or minimize fall hazards by assembling sections on the ground and using bracket scaffolds. "Fall Protection: Safe practices for setting and bracing wood trusses and rafters," an OR-OSHA publication provides examples.
  • Train workers on safe practices of their tasks.

ASK: "Does anyone have more ideas or comments to share?" Pause for discussion. Then see if there are ways to take action.

END WITH ACTION PLAN (ideas for what to ask or say).

  • "Are there any circumstances where we assign workers tasks without providing training on safe practices?"
  • "Does anyone have ideas for assuring that we follow manufacturer's instructions?"
  • Express your commitement to training people for their assigned task.
  • Commit to follow-up at the next safety talk.

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