Dangers of Ice From Above

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Each winter we talk about the importance of watching for ice. We talk about the ice on the sidewalk, the ice on the driveway, the ice in the parking lot, the ice on the stairs. Each year we talk about the importance of being aware of ice so you don’t slip.

Today in the toolbox we have a new take on winter’s ice. Look out from above. This from a recent news article:

Midway man killed by falling 700-pound chunk of ice
Deseret News – February 6, 2017
By Pat Reavy
PARK CITY — A 50-year-old Midway man was killed over the weekend when an extremely large chunk of ice fell off a roof and hit him on the head.

"We’re estimating it was at least 700 pounds,” said Park City Deputy Fire Chief Bob Zanetti. "It was larger than what four firefighters could lift off of him."

Jon Henry, who has a window washing business, was cleaning the windows of a home in Park City's Old Town district, in the 900 block of Woodside Avenue, on Friday when the large ice chunk fell and hit him on the head and pinned him under the snow.

"We’re not sure how long he was there before he was found. It was probably about 45 minutes,” Zanetti said. A neighbor eventually called 911 after discovering Henry. Rescue crews had to use a sledgehammer to get the heavy ice off him.

Henry suffered "major head trauma" from being hit by the ice. He was flown by medical helicopter to University Hospital where he died from his injuries early Saturday.
Zanetti does not believe the ice fell from the roof due to the window washing. It was just a fluke accident and Henry was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he said.

Both Zanetti and Park City spokeswoman Linda Jager noted the city has received a large amount of snow this winter, and many roofs have accumulated big piles of snow.

Granted we aren’t in the window washing business however there are several instances where similar events have occurred elsewhere. It is important that you are aware of snow and ice on awnings, sloped roofs and the like. This is especially true when it is starting to melt.

So for a change this week . . . look out above as well as from below.

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