News Feature | November 5, 2018

North Carolina Worker Dies After Fall From Water Tower

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

greensboro tower

A Greensboro city worker died in North Carolina last week after falling from a water tower while reportedly performing a maintenance exercise on the structure.

“The city...identified the worker as Sheria Stringer. She was part of a crew conducting a climbing operation at the tower which is located in McLeansville,” WFMY News 2 Digital reported.

A News & Record report citing a 911 call recording states she did not fall to the ground.

“We were doing a climb and something happened to her harness,” the caller said. “She came down the ladder. I don’t know how far, but she’s still on the ladder — still hanging.”

Jake Keys, a spokesman for the city of Greensboro, provided details to the publication.

“Stringer, 28, was classified as ‘Admin Support 1’ employee in the Greensboro Department of Water Resources’ engineering division and had worked for the city since May 2016,” the report stated.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported the state is performing a standard probe.

Mary Katherine Revels, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Labor, “said a preliminary investigation found that Stringer was climbing down a fixed ladder at the water tower when she fell 10 stories,” the report stated.

This was not the only recent loss in the area.

“Stringer’s death comes less than a month after the city mourned the loss of a Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department employee. On Oct. 2, Wayne Thomas Williams, 74, died after he fell out of his boat on Lake Townsend. Williams worked for the city at the lake but wasn’t on duty at the time of his death,” News & Record reported.

This tragedy is a reminder of the dangerous conditions that workers often endure. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 5,190 workers died on the job in 2016. On average, that amounts to more than 99 a week or more than 14 deaths every day.